Legal Question in Elder Law in Colorado

I am my mother's POA since November 2016. She also assigned me to manage all of her bills and banking at that time -- her bank account with Wells Fargo and her credit card account with Amex -- because she was losing her credit cards, finding it difficult to keep up with her checking and savings accounts, and paying bills. We contacted her financial institutions and had all of her statements, bills, checks, and correspondence routed to me in Colorado from where she was living in Florida. My mother was diagnosed unofficially with dementia in April 2017. I continued to manage her accounts with financial institutions. I link her bills, transfer funds as needed between the checking and savings, and link her external bank accounts. One of her banks is a trust fund, however. I am not the trustee. My cousin is named as the current trustee. I don't know what legal grounds my cousin has to take control of the account, to limit my access, or to gain access to linked bills like credit cards. Although my mother named her as the successor trustee (my brother was named the initial trustee before he passed away in 2021, but my mother never gave him access to or asked to manage her finances) of her estate in her will, the role was meant to apply to her estate after death. She never intended for her to manage her day- to -day finances. My cousin is wanting to take some control of the trust at this point. I don't know where my duties/legal rights begin and end. Please advise.

Asked on 3/24/23, 7:09 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

Your cousin's authority as trustee is greater than your authority as PoA for mom. Call up your cousin and work it out before it becomes some great big mess and you've got to get the lawyers involved. Do not touch the trust accounts.

Good luck.

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Answered on 3/24/23, 10:55 am

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