To keep things straight, when I refer to your duty as POA, I will be talking about things outside of the trust. When I refer to Trustee, that is regarding your duty as trustee and the trust.
I am now handing my mother's affairs. I am the successsor trustee of her revocable trust which was setup 15 years ago; she officially resigned as trustee about 2 years ago. I already had POA, health care POA and had signature authority on all of her bank and brokerage accounts. I have been totally responsible for obtaining all forms of care for her.
Until she resigned from her trust, she handled her own affairs most of the time; I reviewed what was happening because I put her tax info together for her CPA and occasionally paid bills. I took over from her when I found that her broker had sold her an inappropriate investment and my mother obviously did not understand what she had purchased.
I feel it is my duty to manage my mothers affairs as my father would have if he were still alive. He was extremely conservative in his investments. I rely upon their accountant with whom they had a long term relationship for both his business and their personal affairs for advice as well.
When it comes to elders, conservative investments is the right thing to do.
My sister is upset that I will not move my mother's funds to be managed by my sister's financial manager.
That's her problem.
I believe that barring inappropriate actions by one of their current financial advisors, their assets should remain with the individuals selected by my parents.
Okay, and the part about barring inappropriate actions is most appropriate.
I have very good records from the time I took over completely. Unfortunately, my mother's records are just piles of paper without any form of organization if the paperwork is there at all.I am trying to backtrack the paperwork; this is a problem because she had 4 different bank accounts that she wrote checks on - often with no notation in the check register.
You are only responsible for this from the time you starting writing checks, even not on a full take over of mom's affairs.
I am expecting a big problem when I try to settle my mother's estate - especially with the recent comments from both of my siblings. I want to be prepared to defend myself as my sister had one time threatened to sue me over my parents assets. Now my brother is making comments about what he feels is due to him from the estate.
If you have not done so, acquire the formal accounting papers for AR that the court uses. Make your starting point the balance of the month prior to you writing any checks and end this on the last day of the month the following year. If the bank ends the bank statements on any other day than the last day of the month, call the bank and change the ending day to the last day of the month. This will save you future headaches.
For everything that is NOT in trust, do the same thing. Your squibblings will probably have you account for everything you do as POA, and they have the right to do so when mom passes.
In her lucid moments, my mother has no problem with what I have done. Both her CPA and attorney will back me up as if there was any question, I would seek advice from them. I really do not want to put them in the middle of a family fight unless absolutely necessary.
That is great. Do complete a formal annual accounting for when you started taking over. It will make life easier.
Am I obligated to account to my siblings on a regular basis as long as my mother is alive?
As beneficiaries to the trust, your squibblings are entitled to an annual accounting of the trust only. Do provide them with documentation of the trust's income, disbursements, etc. All that will be on the formal accounting papers. If they want proof of anything, such as bank statements, copies of checks, do provide it to them. Otherwise, they can hire an their own attorney and force you to do this and charge this to the trust.
You are welcome. It may be best to keep the assests that are not in trust just as they are and manage them with your POA. You must keep the trust accounting separate from the assests you manage with the POA. That means 2 different accounting reports.