Can a Power of Attorney refuse to allow family members to visit their mother who is competent and requesting visits?

Asked by

POA is one of the mother’s children.

She is currently living in one of her rental homes with the POA, his wife, adult granddaughter and her boyfriend. This was to be temporary while the mother received rehab. treatment. Treatment was completed months ago.

The mother wants to move back home and could with some limited daily help. She has requested the POA make it happen for months. No movement has been made by the POA.

After numerous requests by the mother's other sons the mother was allowed to visit and spend a weekend with one. For the first time in almost a year she was able to see all her other children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

During that visit the mother slowly opened up and shared concerning facts about her treatment, and care while living with the POA's family. She asked to extend her visit and shared she was scarred to return to the POA, in fear of retaliation for sharing and not following all their rules while she was visiting.

The POA was contacted and when informed by his mother of her desire he refused to allow her to extend her stay. POA refused to bring her additional medicine so she could stay a few days longer. Advised he would block any efforts to secure additional medicine at the RX so that she could extend her stay... ETC.... to avoid arguing the mother eventually agreed to return to them (as she had several doctor visits for that week). It was agreed she would return to her other sons home for an extended visit in 3 days (after the doctor visits, the second son had offered to take his mother to the doctor visits but the POA refused).

When the day came for the return visit the POA refused to allow the visit. The POA has further refused that son from coming to visit or even to face to face check on his mother. A third son is also denied visitation. The POA will not allow either son to speak to mother on the phone.

The POA offers no reason for not allowing the visit; he just refuses it, stating he has the power and authority to do so.

POA advises mother is competent.

What action is appropiate?

Answers 1 to 10 of 50
Sounds like POA is on a power trip to me. Why can't the whole family sit down and talk about this stuff? I'm the POA for my mother-in-law but that only works with her money at the bank I thought. I pay the bills etc, but can't imagine having the power to say when and where she goes. The POA could clean out her bank account though and make your lives miserable if you don't open up a dialogue with that person. Maybe you need a disinterested third party to mediate.
Top Answer
I don't understand why - if Mom is competent - she has someone acting as her POA at all. She should revoke it. Simple notarized from (available free on the web). Easy enough to redo it later - perhaps to a different person?
Great idea! Mediation was considered.

After much discussion the two brothers suggested mediation to the POA. The POA stated that if the two other brothers showed up for a meeting at "his" attorney's office to workk out details on returning their mother home they could then visit the mother.

Note: the information from the POA prior to the mothers visit was vastly inaccurate with regard to her abilities when visiting. The brothers do not feel they can base any detailed planning on the POA's information and are concerned the mothers doctor may be receiving the same apparent misiniformation. The POA's report on her abilities was far less than what was observed.

The two sons responded that if the POA wanted their input in developing a detailed plan, and their assistance to impliment it they needed::
1. To have the mother visit for 2-3 weeks so that they could observe her day to day and formulate a clearer picture of what she could and could not do.
2. At the end of the visit go with her to a doctor visit for a discussion.
3. Afterwhich they would be happy to sit down with the POA, with the mother in attendance, and work out the details of a plan.

The POA refused. He advises they cannot see their mother, cannot talk to her, cannot go with her to her doctor, and that the mother cannot attend the meeting.

The two brothers then in desperation stated ... ok..... they would attend the meeting but wouldn't be informed enough to sign off on any detailed plan. None the less they would show up, listen, and ask questions. In return they wanted assurance from the POA that when the meeting was over that they could take their mother for an extended visit (as he had orginally advised if attended the meeting they could visit her).

The POA refused. Ranted about how the two brothers could out vote him and he and his family would loose and he wasn't going to allow that. He states that the two brothers and the mother are against him.

It appeares the POA wants to have a meeting, tell the brothers how it was going to be, get them to agree and commit to help with "his" plan (which the POA has advised he doesn't have??), and spring it on the mother.

The POA continues to make comments he has the power and authority to deny visits and control her.

In frustation the brothers advised him to put together a plan by himself and make it happen. The mother has advised him she wants to go home and they feel that as her agent he is to make it happen.

In the meantime they want to visit their mother and reminded him she was requested visits with them.

Again the POA refuses

The brothers are upset and confused as to the motive of the POA. After all it is suppose to be about what is in the mothers best interest.
Mariesmom.... I agree with you. If mom is with it mentally what is all the POA stuff about.

Changing the POA is perhaps this is what the current POA fears. Perhaps he is concerned about what additional information mom will share.... She does have some slight memory issues.... maybe he wants to keep her until she is incompetent.... perhaps she has signed documents the brothers don't know about and the POA doesn't want those documents nulled.
Who knows.
I'd think if she wants to see them or visit them or whatever it should just happen.

Perhaps POA wants to wait till mom gets drained of whatever money she has. I hope not.
My question is still.... what is the reasonable action that the two brothers should take to see their mother.
The home she is at the mother owns. So to see her the would be on property owned by the mother.
She is competent.
Do they physically go to the house and if refused entry by the other family members living there enter anyway?
It sounds as if your mother is being held hostage, to be honest. Get Adult Services involved because of your concern for her safety and well-being. Call the police and get them to do a health and welfare check on HER. Request that they see and speak to her. Tell Adult Services what you've told everyone here and let them intervene. They're supposed to protect your mother from abuse and what you're describing sure sounds like it fits the bill.
Thanks for the reply.

Hate to take it to that level.

However the brothers are running out of options. That is why we came here to post and see if there were options we were not aware of, ideas someone else had tried and failed or had success with.

They want to be reasonable.

It just seems simple.

If she is competent she can decide for herself.

I'd think they should be able to just drive up, knock on the door and see her or take her out of the house if that is what she would like.

Will Adult Services advise the outcome of their involvment/investigation if called?
A power of attorney gives the agent the power to make financial decisions, but those don't include restricting who can visit the person. Only through a court-ordered conservatorship could someone have that kind of power. If you or your brothers ask to speak to your mother directly and are refused, it would be grounds to ask the police department to do a welfare check on your mother, and to get adult protective services involved.
Of course Adult Services would let you know. You're her family. You have a right to know what is going on. You have a right to see your mother. She has a right to see you. She's competent, it's HER house and she's being told what she can and cannot do? That's being held hostage, not being cared for. Your brother needs to be awakened to that and it will take someone who has an absolute right to demand, someone whose authority he can't question, to wake his fanny up. Do it now before it's too late to do anything.

I had an aunt whose children had POA over literally everything in her life. It even gave them the right to decide her personal relationships. I think that they had convinced her that she needed their protection. No, they needed the secrecy. By the time she died, anything of value that she'd owned was gone. She'd given it all away to them, but they still ignored her. A couple of her nieces found her sitting in the floor on evening, taking her clothes off and putting them back on. She had several pain patches on her at once. And no, she wasn't taken to the hospital until a few days after, of course, the pain patches had been removed. I would imagine that they wanted some time for the meds to wear off before anyone actually examined her. She died less than a month later. And this woman who wasn't illiterate signed a new POA with an "x" less than two weeks before she died. Only that one didn't mention anything about her personal relationships. Gee, does it seem to you that they didn't want anyone to know about that little provision in the first one?

And how do I know about the POAs? In this state, it's public record. It's all easily available at no charge on the county's website. Frankly, an evening of combing through scanned images of POAs and deeds online left me sick to my stomach. At the time, I lived in another state and wasn't here. I used to call her, but her hearing got so bad that she couldn't hear me on the telephone any longer. I am my own mother's caregiver and couldn't leave her to go and see for myself what was going on. I wish I could have. You have no idea how much I do.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support