sister in law in my mother in law's bank account

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by dstc_99, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    So several months ago when my father in law on husband's side died I agreed to handle my mother in law's finances. She had never used a bank for anything before so I blew her mind when I told her we would open a second account to put money in for bills and then leave her spending money in the original account. Anyway since I am out of town and knew her bank wasn't available out here in Seattle she put my sister in law on the accounts in case of emergency. sister in law already had an account at the bank so she was familiar with their stuff and would be able to move money if needed.

    Present day-Friday I went in and transferred money for the bills and texted sister in law to let mother in law know. mother in law has no cell phone and it was late so I didn't want to wake her. I got a text back at around 230AM from sister in law asking if I could move money back to mother in law's main account. Apparently sister in law had transferred money to sister in law's account and planned to put it back in mother in law's account on the 5th. I had to tell her I couldn't because there were several auto payments set up that would cause the account to overdraft. BUT I got to thinking….hmmmm! Why would sister in law be transferring money? mother in law lives off Social Security and her money is super tight.

    Soooooo being the honest/nosey person I am I thought I better check things out. Generally I don't look in mother in law's main account because it is none of my business where she spends her money. Also she mainly does withdrawals at the bank through the teller so there is nothing interesting to look at. Unfortunately what I saw made me even more curious. Over 15 transfers to an acct I don't have access to during the previous banking statement. There were a few deposits from that account for the same amounts but not enough to cover all of them.

    Now I have to say that mother in law and sister in law are so co-dependent that it isn't funny and they have been passing money back and forth for years. mother in law won't use a debit card or a check for anything so it isn't unheard of for sister in law to pay and then write herself a check from mother in law's acct to cover the amount. So at first I didn't think to much about it but then I looked a little closer because there were so many of them. Things did not match up and it was a lot of money. Money I knew mother in law was holding for when she declares bankruptcy in a few months.

    Since I am the daughter in law I asked husband to mention it to mother in law and see if they were just doing their normal "you pay and I'll pay you back thing." mother in law knew nothing about it. She had no idea she has less than 150$ for the rest of December if sister in law doesn't put the money back. It took almost an hour but I explained to mother in law that there were a lot of these transfers and that just peaking I could see 950$ that were unpaid. Further inspection after the call shows 1620$ unpaid in a little less than 45 days. I haven't mentioned that amount to mother in law but I told her to go to the bank or call me for further review if she was concerned. Now I am sure some of that is legit but mother in law had no idea about the large number of transfers so I told her she needs to talk to sister in law. She is going to tell sister in law she went to the bank and didn't have enough money for something. Then she is going to tell sister in law she spoke with the teller and there were several transfers she didn't know about. I told her if they weren't things that were approved she should remove sister in law from the accounts.

    I really don't want to be in the middle of this but I am so mad!!!! My mother in law lives off a very limited income and is going to have to declare bankruptcy simply to survive. My sister in law has no excuse for taking money from her. sister in law's husband makes as much money as my husband but they are always overdrawn. I can't tell you how many times husband and I have bailed them out. sister in law just can not manage money. In 15 years they have never been on steady ground. But they have also never not done everything they want. They are in collections for things but all of them are in sister in law's name because brother in law is kept in the dark about the majority of sister in law's money swapping and floating checks. Heck right after the funeral they almost separated over this **** and he said he would pay the bills. Apparently that didn't last long.

    Anyway…..I just needed a place to vent. I am going to let mother in law handle it and assist if she needs me. I don't want to cause any drama but dang I am mad. I can't believe she would do this right at Christmas. My mother in law thinks of Christmas as the holy grail and goes all out (cheap all out but all out in her way). LOL
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Woah oh Woah. This is really bad. It could be reported to Adult Protective Services if the bank decides it wants to do that.

    If you want my honest opinion, I would close out those accounts and put them in one of the major banks like Bank of America or even the online banks like Ally. (Why does that not look right when I typed it) You could have an account opened at a bank near your mother in law and have Ally transfer X amount of money to that account every 15 days or something.

    You also need to get your mother in law to make you the financial power of attorney. That would protect her. She obviously trusts you.
  3. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    I would love to close the accounts but since mother in law doesn't bank she is very afraid of that. Having sister in law removed should do the trick but we will see what they decide.
  4. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    That's elder abuse. :(
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Yes, it IS elder abuse. It isn't exactly fraud since sister in law has access but... Ugh.

    I hope it can get fixed ASAP. And sister in law needs OFF those accounts!!!