Dear Annie: Do you have any suggestions for dealing with a con artist sibling who swoops into town only to beg, borrow and steal from our dying, incapacitated father?
My brother makes more than anyone else in the family, yet feels entitled to squeeze all he can out of Dad. He constantly asks for business loans, cars and college tuitions for his children, mortgage payments on a multimillion-dollar home, money for his family to travel, etc. In addition to suffering multiple physical illnesses, my father is losing his cognitive abilities. He is being scammed and bamboozled in every conversation he has with my brother and his wife. The rest of the family knows they are both manipulators.
I realize that it's Dad's money to do with as he pleases, but he has made it perfectly clear that he wants everything divided equally between all of his children, as stated in his will. And I think my brother is already taking all of the heirloom items from the family home whenever he drops into town.
All of my other siblings are retired and live out of state. As the only local child, I provide Dad's care while working full-time. All of the siblings share power of attorney. We previously shared estate executorship, but my brother escorted Dad to his attorney and had it changed, making himself sole executor.
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My brother does not know that Dad showed me a copy of an IOU for a large loan for a startup business. Dad wanted us to know that it needs to be paid back to the estate, but he expects the siblings to collect. This will create a lot more anger and resentment. Should I contact my dad's attorney now, wait until after Dad's death, or cut all ties with the thieves? -- Flabbergasted Sibling
Dear Flabbergasted: Taking advantage of a parent financially is called elder abuse. Talk to Dad's lawyer now. Find out if the power of attorney gives you any leverage. Discuss with your other siblings the idea of removing valuable items from Dad's home. You can report your brother to Adult Protective Services, and you also can get more information through the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (preventelderabuse.org).
Dear Annie: This is for "Thigh High in Confusion," whose new boyfriend likes to wear women's thigh-high stockings. Actually, this is for her boyfriend:
Dude, you are presenting this all wrong. Instead of saying you wear them because you enjoy them (that's your business) you should be saying that you wear them because they are cheaper and more comfortable than compression socks, and you are being proactive to avoid getting varicose veins and other circulatory issues. Then, no one would think you were kinky. They would think you were clever. And your girlfriend (probably) wouldn't get uptight about it -- although that horse has already left the barn. -- Wears Compression Socks
Dear Compression: He probably could have gotten away with that excuse -- until he decided he wanted to wear a push-up bra. That would be a bit harder to explain.
To our readers: Happy Easter.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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