Husband's sister wants control and won't give my husband information the attorney needs!

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My husband was actively helping his parents, was feeling overwhelmed so called sister who took their parents in. Father-in-law (has Parkinson's) and her had a 2nd falling out. This was over a month ago and father-in-law has been in nursing home and hospital. Father-in-law has not seen his wife in almost a month because my husband's sister will not take her mother (with Alzheimers) to visit. Sister-in-law will not fax information my husband's attorney needs, has mail sent to her house, has father-in-law's wallet,, cell phone, and took valuables from parent's home. When father-in-law was in the nursing home, he had no clothes and sister in law lives 12 miles from the facility. A good friend of father-in-law dropped off clothes. My husband is POA, executor of the will, and his dad's medical POA. What can my husband do? His sister loves to be in control of things. My husband called her house and so did his brother and was told their mother was unavailable and couldn't come to the phone.


3930 helpful answers
Since your husband has POA, he is legally okay. It's the sticky family issue that is the problem. He will have to decide whether and how far he wants to push this, but he could have an attorney write a non-threatening letter to the sister explaining that he must be included in decsions. Being nice doesn't seem to be working. Good luck with this. Family issues are so hard to handle once they go sour.

Hi Shelly23

I agree with Carol, as long as your husband has POA then he has the legal rights to do what he deems best in this situation. To me it makes very little sense tthat your SIL has to be so controlling. I ask you - who is the ill person your dad or your SIL? Sometimes we are all better off when there is no family to interfer...and this seems like a good example.

Perhaps legal aide, or senior aide/ elderly affairs can step in and set this right for all parties concerned...

Yes matters can get sticky---but it seems like you have not much choice.

Good Luck!

Is there any chance of your husband and his sister talking to find out what the issue is? Something is upsetting your SIL very much and perhaps if you could find out what, you could help her with it. She probably does not want to make your parents unhappy.
I appreciate very much the dilemma you find yourself in. It is not uncommon as I am sure you have found from perusing forums such as this. Not being "the only one", however, is small, if no comfort when it comes to the stress of caregiving issues.

You mentioned your sister in law is 12 miles away. How far away are you? Trying to play hardball long distance when she is the primary caregiver is simply not going to happen unless you have the funds to put other caregivers in place or, at the very least, a care manager/advocate.

If your sister in law is going to continue to be the primary caregiver this must be worked out amicably. As Blizza mentioned above, have you asked your sister in law what she needs or wants? Don't forget she has accepted the responsibility of overseeing/advocating for her parents without the "power" to make decisions. That's a tough spot to be in as well. And I'm sure you remember all to vividly the stress you and your husband were experiencing when the proverbial shoe was on the other foot.

Also keep in mind that as long as the parents are considered capable of making their own decisions the DPOA and Health Care Surrogacy are inoperable. Does your husband have DPOA and Health Care Surrogacy for Mom, too?

If dad is not capable of making decisions for himself, it will be easy to get his supervising physician plus another to so certify. Then your husband can simply submit his DPOA/Health Surrogate to wherever dad is receiving care and instruct them that your husband is to receive all communication regarding his fathers condition.

Similarly with the financial institutions father deals with; simply submit the DPOA to the bank and advise them that your husband will now be his father's agent and in control of everything delineated in the document

I tell you all of this because you really do not need an attorney to exercise powers that you already have. I also tell you all of this because having a DPOA is not simply a matter of convenience. It is a legal responsibility that your husband assumed. If he is unwilling or unable to fulfill his obligation he must resign and let the successor agent named in the document accede as attorney in fact. Essentially what I am saying is that if dad is not competent your husband has no choice but to act as outlined above. This can and should be done as soon as possible.

Your husband calling or writing your sister to tell him what he will be doing will also be the opportunity for sister and brother to put all their cards on the table and stop this.

By mail, by phone, but preferably face-to-face, the siblings have to talk about how they are going to handle the responsibility of their parent's needs. Someone has to be the grown-up, get real, and find a way to work it out. Maybe a third party (again as Blizza suggested) such as a clergy member or relative could mediate if need be.

The most important thing is that your in laws are not in danger. If you are some distance away and cannot verify this to your satisfaction, and if the situation has really devolved to the point where there is no communication, then I believe it is your husband's responsibility, and it is therefore incumbent upon him, to call the equivalent of adult protective services in the state in which they reside and have them investigate.

They have the ability to set things right with respect to who is going to be responsible, but they also have the ability to take responsibility from both siblings and appoint guardians! The siblings really have to consider that they must get it together for if the parents begin to suffer as a result of not doing so, the choices may not be theirs for long!

I wish your family peace and good luck.
I have update on this situation. We llive an 1.25 hours from the hospital where my fil is at and where my mil is living with my sil. Last night t was stated by my sil's husband that my fil is no longer welcome to live in their home. It was stated by her husband that she is furious with my husband. This anger is getting in the way of what is best for my fil, which is extremely frustrating. Anger benefits no one!
My husband told his sister's husband he just needs the paperwork for his parent's care and that it's not for him. Not sure if this will help the situation.
Thank you all so much for your responses. I am deeply touched by the care that is shown here. It is truly a gift from above!
Parkinsons does not mean dementia necessarily. Is he of sound mind. Is he incompentent to make mental or medical decisions. Does the other sibling have a more recent POA than you husbands. If you needed the help from this sibbling, are they receiving payment somehow for that. Do you want these people to take care of him or do you want to take care of him. I would strongly suggest that if the answer to the last question is "We want them to take care of him" then just pack your bags and take a trip to Hawaii with the money you are going to spend on a lawyer and be glad it ain't you taking care of him. If money is involved, then let them spin their wheels to get it and I mean you and your husband sit and watch. Visit the alzheimers mom, she don't care about none of it anyway. By the way, it does not matter how many clothes you take to the nursing home, and they all get name labeled, they will always lose them, none of them ever have any clothes to wear unless you post a sign on their closet that say "Family will do laundry". But then, you have to do the laundry and all the poopy and peey stuff. It is a no win situation.
So here we have a brother and sister fighting about the care of their parents. The brother supposedly has legal control but guess what - (surprise, surprise [not really]) - the sister has the job (that the brother and his wife couldn't handle) of caring for the parents. And now the WIFE of the brother is writing for advice and the HUSBAND of the sister is ranting. Good grief, Charlie Brown!

Personally, I would like to hear the sister's side of the story!!!! Maybe she has even sent in an email, just like her sister-in-law did, BUT asking instead for advice on how to deal with a brother who has legal control but has left her to do all the "caring" (or as 2old2giveacrap put it "do all the poopy and peey stuff"). There is so much to this story that we do not know (we don't know if the brother and sister have EVER managed to get along) but I would be surprised to learn that the sister is as much the villain as she has been portrayed.

I would suggest that the brother should go and listen VERY CAREFULLY to what his sister has to say. The wife of the brother should not be present at this meeting nor should the husband of the sister. I imagine that both the brother and the sister know their mates opinions about the matter and won't go against their mates wishes. Brother and sister have to work this out but both have an EQUAL right to their own viewpoint. Hopefully, they can come to understand enough of the other's, to put an end to the fighting and to work together instead. And hopefully, the sister-in-law and the brother-in-law can do the same.
LCS certainly summarized this well. Can we hear again from the initial writer? Are these comments helpful? Can your husband talk with his sister?
My step father says is is POA for my mom. He has told all Dr.'s not to give me information regarding her health,progress, whatever. I am a RN . My step father has told everyone that my mom has Alzhemiers.She had a stroke,causing to repeat what you say to her. This makes her look like an Alzheimers patient. She doesnt have it. However the doctor did the MRI and then retired shortly after. Then my step dad took her to another hospital. Long story short, he now has her in a nursing home, and the long term care insurance people think she has Alzheimers and they are paying the bill. My mom does want me to know about her care.What can I do??

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