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To think my mum is gaslighting my grandad in order to get his money?

(21 Posts)
LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 00:36:59

Long story, sorry!

My grandparents on my mum's side have always been relatively well off. Good jobs in RAF and civil service, paid house off before they were 30 etc.

They helped my mum and stepdad out many years ago, when I was about 6, as we had our home repossessed when they ran into money troubles. Because they'd be unlikely to get a mortgage again, my grandparents offered to get a mortgage on their behalf with a 10% deposit, and my DM and SD would just have to make the repayments. It was agreed they could keep the deposit as some early inheritance (Mum would be 32, my Uncle, their only other child, got the same at the time) whenever they sold the house, plus whatever they'd put into it.

They bought a house for £60k and many years later, when planning to move to a cheaper part of the country, sold it for £120k. They requested they keep the money they made on the house, and my GPs agreed. They then bought another house in the new location for £60k, leaving them mortgage free and a good few thousand in their pockets. In that time they spent a lot of money on jewellery, new cars etc, and never so much as took my GPS out for a 'thank you' meal.

So not to drip feed, my mum would say she has never had a good relationship with them. She has always moaned about them and considered them a hindrance on her life. She can be quite nasty, my grandad had bowel cancer and so had a colostomy bag and she says she wouldn't go out for a day with him because he smells and passes wind noisily etc. She's also wildly jealous of her own brother as she believes they favour him and always have. She is all round a very toxic person

Anyway, 11 years ago my Mum became power of attorney for both my GPs. Shortly after that, her and SD decided to move to France. Despite the 'bad' relationship, she practically begged them to move with her, so she could 'look after them in their old age'. Despite being happy where they were, they sold up and moved too (making a small fortune on their home which they had lived in for a long time). DM and SD bought a farm house for €80k in France. Them and my GPs agreed that my GPs would pay to have a 'granny flat' built on the side of the house, at the cost of €80k, so there would be a 50/50 ownership of the property as a whole.

Because my DM and SD arrived in France first, the house was bought only in their name. Neither of my GPs have ever been out on the deeds, or any form of paperwork. On paper, my DM and SD own the whole property including the granny flat.

My nan became quite ill at one point and the flat was not suitable for them to live in as it was mainly upstairs. So they moved into the main house and DM and SD lived in the granny flat. Before long, nan's health deteriorated rapidly and GPs decided to move back to the UK. It was agreed between both parties that the house would be sold, and the proceeds split 50/50.

Because they put so much money into the house in France, my GPs rented back in the UK

My mum in the meantime has a 'list' of money she believes they owe her. It's exactly half for repairs to the property, bills that have been racked up (this so far seems fair) a new kitchen, wallpaper and paint for when they've redecorated, landscape gardening, a new terrace, among other things. She hasn't actually ever told them she has this list, or that she's 'charging' them, but she knocking it off the 50% she's going to give them. She has told me (but not them) that the list is so long, they now owe her money and when she sells she won't be giving anything back to them. Again, they have never been told this. I wish Mum had never told me as I hate secrets especially when they involve money!

Again to avoid drop feeding, this isn't the first time she's behaved badly with money. When GPs came back to England they brought with them a left-hand drive car. Mum bought an English car in France and for convenience, they decided to swap. DH and I actually drove over to swap them. My GPs car was a smart Picasso, 5 years old, very well looked after. The one Mum had was a clapped out Kia, 10 years old, and the passenger door didn't open from the outside. Mum insisted GPs were getting the better car. When we took it back to UK, it failed its MOT and the mechanic was amazed the tyres didn't burst on the motorway as they were like balloons. They had to have it scrapped 6 months later. Mum's Picasso is still going strong.

Also Mum came back to U.K. at one point for 6 months as they were in debt again and she needed to work (she doesn't work in France, SD does). My grandad paid for six months rent on a flat upfront plus gave her free reign of his credit card for a bit, on the understanding she'd pay him back. She never has. She is like this with money - will squirm her way out when she can. She once owed me money and promised to hand it over when she visited. She'd bought me a few jumpers, and knocked the cost off what she gave me back (without my prior permission).

Anyway, nan has now passed away, grandad is still renting and is expecting a payout once their house sells. He won't get what he put in due to a dip in the market, but he thinks he's gonna get £60k back once it sells based on the market price. Mum has instructed the estate agents to not encourage viewings as she has decided she doesn't want to sell up. GD has stipulated that if it doesn't sell before he dies, his son must get half of his. Mum has stated to me she'll refuse to agree to this when the time comes - and because my GD won't be here, there's nothing anyone can do.

Mum has also been renting out the granny flat part and not informed my GD.

If you're still reading, here's my AIBU - my GD lives near me and I see him regularly. Me and DD are a big part of his lives and he lives to see DD. We are very close to him and have a fantastic relationship. I've been through a great deal in my life too, especially my childhood, and he's a real rock for me.

He said the other week, completely at random, that DD and I will be 'taken care of' when he goes. He said he wants us to have what my mum and uncle have at least had and that he's changed his will to reflect this, as we 'deserve it after all we've been through'. He didn't say much more and I don't want to press him, I just said my thanks. I don't know how much he has, but I know he has several good pensions and bank accounts and that he obviously thinks he has around £60k coming his way at some point.

I believe Mum as his power of attorney will have been informed about the will change. She hasn't mentioned it to me if she has (we have a very difficult relationship, stemming back to the childhood issues, and aren't close).

In the last few weeks she has been absolutely desperate to make my grandad out to be mentally unwell. She is telling family (and me) stories about how he's phoned SD asking strange questions (including asking if Mum is in England or France today), getting confused, calling people by the wrong names, Imagining things and forgetting significant things. She has rang his GP with her concerns. My grandad, bar the colostomy bag, is the picture of health for an 83yo. I have never ever seen anything to worry me, and I see him all the time. My nan had dementia before she died so I know the signs to spot. He's absolutely fine. However, Mum is itching to get him in a care home (she is extremely manipulative) and has flown over twice now to look at some in another area (near my uncle, 200 miles away, not near me). I think she wants to have people around to officially affirm her 'beliefs'. She's trying to convince him to get a dementia diagnosis. She controls all his finances under the guise of 'helping' (his pension statements etc go to her address) so knows every single penny that he receives, when and whom from.

AIBU to think she's gaslighting him with the ultimate goal being that his latest will change is inadmissible due to his MH? I'm honestly not bothered about the money, I wasn't ever expecting it and DH and I do quite well, but to see my GD being gaslighted is really upsetting me. My mum would do anything for money, she sold my nan's jewellery and kept the money while my nan was still warm, and I think she's royally fucked off that she'll be getting less in his will. It's only since the will change that she's behaving this way.

So AIBU to think he's being gaslighted? DH thinks I should tell him myself that Mum doesn't intend to give a single penny of his house money back, but it would cause an epic family fall out. I've told Mum 100 times that she needs to spill the beans but she won't. I don't know what to do but every time she texts to say "Grandad rang me rambling on talking nonsense, I'm worried" I can't help but think she's lying for her own gains. I have rang him and asked "have you spoken to Mum today?" And he'll say no. I see him several times a week and I've never once noticed anything of concern re his MH. I can't express just how controlling and manipulative my mother is, I don't think I'm being paranoid.

Notnownornever Fri 23-Dec-16 00:47:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

badg3r Fri 23-Dec-16 00:52:30

Re the phone calls, I would be looking into itemised phone bills to show he's not been calling her on the days she says he has. She sounds awful. Could he change his power of attorney?

lougle Fri 23-Dec-16 00:54:26

You need to contact social services adult safeguarding team. They will have seen this time, and time, and time again sad. They will help your grandad.

endofthelinefinally Fri 23-Dec-16 01:01:45

Why and how did she get POA?
She would have had to prove that your GPs were incapable of managing their own affairs. It is extremely difficult to do so it sounds fishy to me.

BastardGoDarkly Fri 23-Dec-16 01:03:05

Jesus Christ. Fuck the fall out, tell him, tell a solicitor together, doctors, what ever, he needs protecting from this grasping cow.
He needs you to do the right thing, please do it op.

lougle Fri 23-Dec-16 01:09:14

POA is granted voluntarily by the individual before they lose capacity to act, so the GD would have signed over POA some years ago. Now though, if the DM convinces enough people that the GD is not of sound mind, it would be impossible to revoke POA unless a court deemed it not in his best interests.

It's really important to act quite quickly. I'd take your grandfather to the GP to get on record that he is of sound mind - the GP can do a mini-mental test which will show that he has good short term and long term memory, orientation to time, person and place, etc.

MrsTerryPratchett Fri 23-Dec-16 01:11:43

Seconding contacting Social Service. Financial abuse is taken very seriously and that's what this sounds like.

LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 01:15:10

Thanks all for your replies and suggestions. I didn't even think of social services or itemised billing but will look into both as wouldn't have thought this was a regular occurrence (I'm quite aware it all sounds a bit mad!)

To answer your questions, yes I trust my uncle, we are not especially close but I'm sure he'd act in my GD's best interests, he's not greedy or like my mum. My DH thinks I should suggest to my GD to make him POA. And yes I think my mum is the executor of GD's will.

notquite I have planed for so long to go NC with mum for many reasons but, as bonkers as this sounds, she has this bizarre hold over me and I'm scared of rocking the boat - which is why I've been reluctant to tell my grandad everything. I know she can't physically hurt me but I'm almost scared of her and what she'll say/do if I cross her.

endof im not sure how she got POA but I've seen the contract it's all official and is an enduring POA (if that makes any sense) and it says something like "I intend this power shall continue even if I become mentally incapable" on it. So I took that to mean even if they're not mentally incapable she still has POA? I could be wrong. The weirdest thing is that she got my ex-BF to be a witness - we'd been split up about 2 months at this point so I have no idea why he did it or why she asked. When I saw his name on the contract my eyes nearly popped out my head!

MsMims Fri 23-Dec-16 01:16:11

end POA is organised when people are of sound mind, and usually only invoked once they lose capacity. If people cannot manage their affairs they cannot organise a POA, there's another route that is a lot more costly and difficult. Think it's called deputyship.

OP as she has POA there are also responsibilities on your Mum to behave appropriately and in the best interests of your DGD. Any concerns that this isn't the case should be reported to the office of public guardian.


LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 01:16:12

Oh and the POA has my nan and GD's signatures on it so they handed over POA willingly!

Krampus Fri 23-Dec-16 01:16:49

Also do some reading about French property law and French inheritance, it's a complicated area. What is in a UK will won't automatically apply to assets there.

So far she has taken their money and put it into property without their names on any deeds there. Can you access any evidence of the money they have given? Can you find out from your Mum if they signed Tontine when purchasing the house? Of course that won't help if both your mum and stepdad sell up and move back to the UK.

LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 01:18:55

Thanks lougle, I often attend doctors appointments with him (at his request) so I know he wouldn't mind us doing this!

Thank you for the link MsMims will look into it.

lougle Fri 23-Dec-16 01:20:03

Inheritance is different in France, but if the GD isn't on the French Deeds, then if he dies that property will not be included in his estate unless it is declared by the DM, which it seems would be unlikely.

LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 01:21:05

Krampus he transferred some of the money to DM and SD (£11k I believe) and the rest he paid directly to builders but mum has kept the invoices, im not sure what they say on them. In hindsight it was all done very sloppily but my GPs I guess trusted mum!

KnittedBlanketHoles Fri 23-Dec-16 01:32:46

Tell him and report her for financial abuse. Is there anything worrying you that's stopping you?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Fri 23-Dec-16 01:51:04

This is just awful. Your poor GD. Get social services on the case- your mum deserves to be in jail- her manipulative behaviour is beyond cruel.

SoEverybodyDance Fri 23-Dec-16 01:59:16

Sorry you are experiencing this. It's horrible. In my experience there are 3 routes you can go down

1. Contact the safeguarding team. There is no guarantee they will act, particularly if the evidence is not on paper. They might question your mother's ability to be POA if she lives in a different country. They can't act on every case given to them and the fact that she is trying to get her hands on money of his invested in France will make it more difficult for them.

2. Get a lawyer and ask the court of protection to remove her as POA, on the basis she is unsuitable. This is very long winded and the Court of protection will have to appoint a lawyer for your GD (at about £700 per hour), your mother will have to have one and you will have to have one too - and costs can balloon rapidly.

3. Suggest to your GD and uncle that your uncle is appointed a joint POA which, if your GD is of sound mind, can be done fairly rapidly, although it can take 3 months to go through the court of protection and your mother, as an interested party will be advised of this (if so be prepared for more of your mum's devious behaviour). That way your uncle can start looking into the issues, ask for bank account details, receipts etc. If your GD's share in the French house can be proved, then your uncle will have to inherit an equivalent amount. And if your GD has no French will then every relative of his will be entitled to a share!

4. Record your mother's devious plans on the telephone/internet/in person so that you will be believed. However evil your mother is being at the moment, given his age and vulnerability I suspect GD won't want to believe the worst and you may have a very hard time persuading him of it. In my experience, many old people in this situation would rather muddle along and not confront their child because they'd prefer to die without conflict.

It seems to me that your GD is not up to date with his affairs and is too trusting of your mother, who has form for this kind of behaviour. To put money into a house without getting your name on the deeds is surprisingly foolish / trusting. He will need to be smart at this point. Is he capable of being so?

Also it's inadvisable to have a POA who lives in a different country - how can they act if your GD does eventually need day to day help? Furthermore, if your mother is untrustworthy and they have experienced that, why is she sole POA? Why haven't they got your brother more involved? It may be that he doesn't want to? I think it's important to understand how all this came about before you open the can of worms, so that you are successful in protecting your GD and don't just alienate him and your mum.

Does your mother act as POA for health and welfare as well as finances? You can find out by applying to the court of protection for this information and it's very simple and free to do. If she does, then her apparent keen-ness to make him out to be mentally incompetent, is entirely at odds with this role and safeguarding might take a greater interest.

Your GD may need the money she is trying to deny him for elderly care in a home or for carers to visit, if and when he becomes too frail to manage on his own. It's important for his welfare that this money is returned to him.

And finally, before you act get someone to certify that he is mentally competent, and if you can, don't delay, because at that age, things can happen, he can have a fall, for example, and his health, and mental health can change very rapidly.

Good luck with it.

SoEverybodyDance Fri 23-Dec-16 02:03:17

Sorry, not your brother, your uncle!

LeFrenchDilemma Fri 23-Dec-16 08:39:08

Thanks again all your advice has been so helpful! Especially SoEverybody!

Knitted there's nothing stopping me per se, as in mum doesn't "have anything" on me, however she is so manipulative that I'm confident if I did this she'd turn the rest of my family against me. I'd have to be prepared for that, she's done it with people before.

The only other thing stopping me again is this bizarre hold she seems to have over me. I can't quite describe it, I'm not a stupid or weak woman but she seems to so easily control and guilt trip me, it's like she's some sort of hypnotist! It's always been that way and I think, even though I know it's the right thing to do, it's a big personal step for me to go up against my mum like that.

my GD is not blind to my mum's faults and greed but like SoEverybody said this will knock him for six, it's his DD at the end of the day, and I'm not sure how we will react although I know he'd never ever turn his back on me. he is a very very smart man, not particularly motivated by money, but he doesn't like being diddled over and would fight if he had to.

Furthermore, if your mother is untrustworthy and they have experienced that, why is she sole POA?

At the time they hadn't moved to France and I guess they deemed her trustworthy, she is also very persuasive. Not sure why my uncle wasn't joint POA but I will ask GD. It makes me think that the whole move was calculated as it's too much of a coincidence that it all happened in quick succession

I'm going to call the adult safeguarding team today even if it's just to log the call! Spending Christmas Day with GD and want him to enjoy it will so will broach this all with him and probably uncle too after Xmas day. It will worry and upset him no end but surely it's better to have the truth than be made to think you have dementia when you don't?

pithivier Fri 23-Dec-16 09:59:24

If you think you Mum is financially abusing her PoA, you can apply to the Court of Protection. I think, in the New Year, it would be a good idea to call them for guidance. I found them really helpful when I asked for advice.

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