I am mom's only child and have no voice legally about her care.How do I get her current POA revoked ASAP!

Asked by

My mom had some type of CVA on Thanksgiving that left her not mentally sound. The problem is she had a POA back in 2004. Some woman in another state was given that responsibility. When mom got ill, the woman went out of control taking everything of value out of the house by using people that mother has known for ages to help. Mother had a day of clarity when I was up in her room crying so upset because I had been kept from her for the first 7 days of mom being in the hospital because of this witch. I told mom what had happened that all of her things were gone. Mom told me that she would take care of it. She will be 90 this year. How on earth she was able to get ahold of another person & her attorney and have a new POA made up getting rid of the woman who had POA to begin with is beyond me! Now, supposedly the new person has POA, HIPAA and medical POA. I am livid! I am the ONLY child and ONLY RELATIVE. (minus her sister who is almost as old is she is that lives in another state.) My husband and I along with my attorney were stalemated the entire time by everyone involved with the original person who had POA. NO ONE was allowed to see the paperwork. Including me. I am beyond hurt and very ticked off! What I need is to get a copy of the old POA as I am starting a suit against everyone that took this woman's word she had POA, hospital, nurses, docs, and the security guard who kept escorting me out. I was kept out of my mother's house despite being called by the alarm company one night because that woman told the cops that showed up she had POA. We tried getting a look at the paperwork then but the cops would not help. Now, I am back to being old nothing about mother until after the fact. I.E. where she was placed at for the nursing home, the extended facility she was moved to prior, etc. I am back to I am on a need to know basis about my mother and I do not need to know apparently. No one has taken into count how I feel about this. I have been the one taking care of her on and off for years. When she needed it. I am absolutely livid that I have no voice about her care, etc. I have the paperwork for conservatorship, guardianship. Her attorney today, refused to give up the old copy and told us to get a court order. That no one has to show POA unless doing business even if we are contesting it. Is this right? Tomorrow we are headed to see JAG (husband is in the military) before his doctor's appointment. Is there anything we should know when we go to talk to JAG? We cannot afford a private attorney at all. And got our paperwork from legal aid in the county she resides in. How is it all of these people were able to get away with taking that woman's word for it that she had POA and did what she told them to do? Because from my perspective, how would you like it if I walked into your mother's life and said I have POA over her and her assets and you who took care of her has no voice legally about what I did with her and her things? Especially if you are the only child/relative and only heir?

Answers 1 to 10 of 24
Top Answer
You say you cannot afford a private attorney. Go see the JAG officer and then go talk to your local Office of the Aging. They might be able to put you in touch with an attorney who can help you.

This situation is remarkable. My blood is boiling just reading it and I will be praying that you can get this resolved.
AnArmyWife, I'm just curious and forgive me for asking...back in 2004 did you know this other person was your mom's POA? Do you know her? Why has your mom never made you POA? Im confused and trying to fit the pieces together. This certainly is a huge mess. I don't blame you for being livid, I'm hacked off for you.
AnArmyWife, It just goes to show you how many people can be "MANIPULATED" by covertness! I don't have any answers for you but, am sending you a hug!! I sure hope JAG can steer you in the right direction! Stay strong , as they say,..... good always prevails!!! I'm pullin for you.......Good Luck and Godbless
Keep me in the loop on this one. I've got a similar situation. I think this "friend" of my mother's convinced her that my being a military spouse at that time meant that I would not be reliable to be there for my mother. We are now retired from the military so this should not be a concern any longer. This "friend" of my mother lives closer to her than I do; she's claimed that she knows what's better for my mother than I do. I've not taken this to a legal fight yet but have considered it.
If this lady was indeed pointed POA I would think it would be filed with the courts in the county which she lives. Try there to get a copy. You can go before a judge and make your voice heard. Good luck!
I know when my mom revoked the POA she had given my son and me, she had to file it with the court. After that hateful act, I didn't care who she honored with the duty but I'm sure it was filed and available to view.
Call you local area of aging elder care and tell them your story. This person who is POA can be charged with fiduciary elder abuse. This is not cost to you and they will investigate on your mom's behalf. PLEASE CALL TODAY!
Always, kid[s] need to look carefully at self...
WAS there any time Mom may have been ticked off enough, or sick enough, to make it easier for her to choose or allow, POA to a non-family member?
IT is helpful to find any documents or affidavits that can support that...especially if she was "frail" or "easily lead", and there were other witnesses of her weaknesses, BEFORE the POA was made out to a non-family member.

IF there were family arguments, such that Mom may have been irritated enough, fragile or not, to give POA to someone else, and there is any data to show that, like old letters? That might support the person who has the POA.

YES, check County records.
POAs, Wills, etc. -supervised/guided by a lawyer in their making-,
USUALLY get notarized and filed and are on record.
Hospital records are a bit different, and need a court order to divulge.
Your lawyer should be able to subpoena records that have been withheld, be they POA's, WIlls, or medical records.

Records Mom wrote in her own handwriting, may only have been kept in a safe place, not filed with County. Handwritten instruments are NOT notarized, and are legal, as long as entire thing is in her handwriting, and that can be proved.

In any case, the person claiming to have POA, MUST produce that POA at certain junctures and events--it cannot only be on the person's "say-so".
Cops checking on Mom's estate, for instance, are supposed to actually SEE a POA, not just take the woman's word for it.
IF they failed to see it, failed to verify it was as described, when presented, they goofed, too. So might the hospital, unless their in-house workers got her to sign papers while in hospital or nursing home.

IF you can move Mom away from the 1st POA,
and she is lucid enough to do it,
you can take her to a lawyer, have NEW POA/Will, etc. made, and signed by Mom, on the spot.
THESE new documents supersede old ones but cannot repair damages / losses from the old ones.
Otherwise, the old ones stand.
IF mom must stay where she is, you need legal help to handle things for you--it's a big job, and can be intimidating.

Personal experience:
When Gma was old, frail & vulnerable, related to illnesses, her brother in law, dying of cancer himself, took her by the hand to a new lawyer he chose, & led her verbally into making a new will, which favored him & her sister--the sister denied she was interested in it, to both Gma & other family members.
Gma had made her will exactly as she wanted it, while perfectly sane & lucid.
Others knew how it was arranged, & were happy with it.
Except that brother in law, who was angry he'd not been left the whole thing.

The brother in law got it changed; the changes were NOT what Gma wanted, but was easily coerced/conned into making at that time.
She was barely capable of signing her name, & certainly didn't understand the changes that were made,
BUT, no Doc, at that time, had noted in her chart that she was not able to sign legal papers anymore....

While we knew Gma was "fragile",
Dad [only child] refused to do anything about it [not that he could have], believing things would work out OK, and "not wanting to appear greedy"--but then, he was also by that time, not exactly as sharp-minded as he should have been....yeah, we were all kinda dumb-founded!
He could have done the same thing the brother in law had done, but, he didn't want to lower himself to that level. He had no idea the mess it would be when she died.

The new arrangement also made that crooked lawyer her Executor, & gave POA to the brother in law.
When the crooked lawyer died, he'd left all the "plum" estates he'd set up, not only for Gma, but others, to his lawyer son, who'd helped him in his business.

Family members, even far cousins, were furious at this one member....but none could find any way to do anything....
Because: the crooked lawyer had built in a diabolically tight rule:
==If any family member even hinted at contesting the will or the POA,
the entire estate would immediately be turned over to the Boy Scouts of America.
[[while Gma didn't hate that group, it was definitely not on her list of places to donate to in life, nor would she ever have given any of her hard-earned estate to them--they were not mentioned in her original will, nor had she given to them during her life]]

The new will called for liquidation of her considerable assets [against her original wishes], and gave a large portion to the brother in law and sister.
It meant the house & contents failed to stay in the family: she'd specifically wanted Dad to have all that, & the lion's share of her accounts, and she had arranged for her 3 grandchildren to inherit a tidy sum each]

The ONLY part left intact, ONLY because it had already been done, was the transfer of her lucrative business to her long-time co-workers [which really ticked off the brother in law, but we were all thrilled had been done!].
It allowed a small monthly stipend to Dad and his wife while Dad lived,
but after Dad died, specified a bit larger monthly stipend to Dad's wife alone [we never could figure this out],
--with a limiting cut-off date.
It gave a token $1000 check to each of 3 grandchildren---again, not what Gma had wanted.

It took around 20 years for Dad's wife to finally catch-out the crooked lawyer & his son [also a lawyer], who took over all his carefully arranged "plum" estates:
they had perpetually resisted filing proper tax papers.
She reported them to the CA State Bar Assoc.,
filed complaints based on the "improper paperwork".
THAT was their partial undoing.

By that time, though, the original crooked lawyer, the brother in law, and the sister, had all died.
Dad's wife FINALLY got control of the estate, unable to change it to get anything more, but at least to be the Executor.
AS Executor, she was able to get paid a little bit, for managing the estate.
The crooked lawyer's crooked son, lost control of at least Gma's estate, and likely others--I do not know if he lost his license, but we all sure hoped so!!!

Sorry--long story to get to point:

Your Mom may have been being more "easily lead", for longer than you realize.
Someone may have managed to convince her to give them POA because it was locally convenient, perhaps, OR took advantage of Mom's temper in a moment of her verbalizing how she was angry at her kid, & may have taken her to do a POA in that very moment
[yes, people ARE that crooked!].
Once done, ANYthing can happen to the estate.

You need good legal help.
I sure hope you find someone who can fix this mess.
You may never see recompense for lost portions of her estate, though.
But, it might be possible to make sure that person never does this to others.

Keep us posted!

Wow--wish we'd known about "fiduciary elder abuse" years ago!
Maybe we could have done something about Gma's estate using that.
I dunno, though...that codicil stipulating that anyone contesting her will results in the whole thing going to the Boy Scouts, was pretty tightly wound.
Also the dept of aging will speak with your mom and make a determination as to whether her mental capacity is lucid to change her POA. This worked for us as my sibling was trying to say my dad was suffering from alzheimers and could not make a valid choice to change his POA . Well sibling was wrong and dad was able to get rid of my sister as his POA and get all his money back.

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