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My mother gave me power of attorney prior to having a fall which sent her dementia into fast forward. She is currently living with my sister (due to an extremely ugly family feud.) My mom told me she never wanted to go back to my sister's house for a number of reasons. She told me exactly how she wanted what little she had divided up. She also told me that she wanted her 2 daughters cremated remains scattered with hers when she passes. I want to honor her wishes. However, I still have my mom's belongings to include the cremated remains of my sisters. I told them to come for them months ago and they didn't. Now my mom is under Hospice care at home and they have started calling me about returning the cremated remains. I told them no because I was going to make sure my mom's wishes were followed (at least with this!) Now my sister has hired an attorney and is suing me for the return of my mom's belongings. My mom is now in hospice and sleeps most of the day. She doesn't even know what's going on. I don't want to fight and part of me just wants to give up too. I have always lived for my mom but she was impossible to please. My inner child wants to do this to please her and so that I can feel like I kept my word. I am very hard on myself and have been in therapy working on this. God knows I love my mom and would do anything for her. This has just been too much for me.

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Glad it worked out. I pray that Moms passing is peaceful.
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Thank you. God bless you and your family.
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I want to thank those of you that responded for your input. I spoke to my sisters son (my Godson.) He is a rare human being ❤
I decided to give him the remains and he assured me that he would see to it her wishes are followed. He and my mom are really close (because she raised him.) My sister never wants to upset him so she will follow whatever he says. I wish I would have thought of this sooner but I still think of him as that shy little boy he used to be. Again, thank you all. I'm sorry if I was sensitive about all of it. I'm still dealing with getting rid of my shame and guilt I feel.
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"I don't want to fight and part of me just wants to give up too. I have always lived for my mom but she was impossible to please. My inner child wants to do this to please her and so that I can feel like I kept my word."

I should listen to the grown up part of you that doesn't want to fight.

I should also stop blaming your sister for not being able to please your impossible-to-please mother. You couldn't please her, either. You have at least that much in common.

Your mother's belongings... Are we talking a couple of packing cases? An entire furniture van? In simple physical terms, what is required to remove them from your house to your sister's house?

Suppose you pack your mother's belongings up, putting the ashes carefully into a clearly marked, secure container, and have them delivered to your sister's house. If it's not an enormous amount, any courier (FedEx, e.g.) will do this for you and arrange delivery at a convenient time for her (so there won't be any opportunity for further barneys about that). Much cheaper all round than an attorney!

The ashes are not your sisters. They are just ashes.
If your supposition is correct, that your mother wanted her ashes scattered so as to prevent fights over their whereabouts, you can honour your mother's wishes just as effectively by declining to fight about them.

The part of you that doesn't want to fight is correct. Your inner child is interfering again by telling you that this is "giving up." It isn't giving up. You aren't giving up. You are rejecting a bad, destructive, painful, pointless option; namely sustaining this futile conflict in pursuit of... of what? To achieve what?

Ask your therapist to talk you through where your choices now will lead. To outsiders, the choice to hand your mother's belongings without comment over to your sister ends the conflict. It will also make your original question, can your sister hire an attorney to argue this through, vanish.

Then you will be able to see the real issues which I expect will be much less simple. But you'll get there! - just get this non-issue out of the way first.
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I love this! Thank you for helping me to see what was right in front of me 😊 I have my appointment with my therapist today ❤
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Lawsuits take a long time. Your sister has no more rights to your mom's belongings than you do. You don't have to give her anything. She can pay a lawyer to write a letter stating her case. I don't think it's going to go anywhere. You can ignore it until you get a summons to court. My bet is that will never happen.

This sounds awful and painful and I'm glad you have a therapist to help you. I'm sorry you are losing your mother.
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I have to put in a few words on Geaton's behalf. I think she was trying to put the situation in perspective, but unfortunately her efforts were misinterpreted. She has been a productive contributor here for some time and has offered a lot of good advice.

Lovemymama, I confess to being a bit confused about the situation and the actions of your sister.

First, I have absolutely no idea and would have to refer to an attorney for who has rights to anyone's ashes. I would think it rather be the Personal Representative (f/k/a Executrix or Executor) of the deceased individual's estate, with obligations to handle disposition thereof but not necessarily rights to the ashes.

Second, this is definitely a question for an estate planning or elder law attorney. I think the issue would arise from the obligation of someone to carry out any wishes, and dispose of assets, as well as the body.

Third, your mother is now living with a sister, getting hospice care, even though she doesn't want to live with your sister? That could create some friction, and perhaps affect your sister's suit, but I don't understand the issue of suing to return your mother's belongings. If your mother is still alive, those are her belongings and I'm at a loss to understand the basis for suing for return of them.

Fourth, the question though is whether or not your mother has rights to the ashes.

Or is she suing only for return of the cremated remains? Was there anything in the sisters' wills addressing this issue?

Does the POA your mother executed address the daughters' cremated remains as a possession?

LastIy, think the ownership may turn on an issue similar to this: i.e., who actually owns the remains? This is an interesting issue, but in my opinion really needs the interpretation of someone very familiar with cremations and ownership, and whether or not cremated remains are considered assets or something else.
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My apologies, this is just such an emotional subject for me.
One set of ashes is in my mothers name and one is in mine. Being her only child that could handle stuff like this, I was always made to handle everything.
The only reason they are suing me for her belongings is because they want the ashes. They do not want old records, cassettes or the rest of the things my mom has. They came and dumped it off so fast to make room in their garage when my mom moved in with me. They didn't even pack it properly.
The POA does not address anything. It gives me full control over all her decisions. That's the way she lived her life. She valued my input. Prior to our falling out, I took her to all of her appointments. I would take off work to take her to every single one. I know her health better than anyone.
Thank you for phrasing the questions so I could get what was being asked. As I said this is just such an emotional time and there is so much underlying issues. I know my sister and I need some type of reconciliation therapy but she would never be open to it. Thank you for your time. I really do appreciate you taking the time to ask some really good questions. Always makes someone think... God bless
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Lovemymama, I apologize for hurting your feelings and making you feel judged - that was not my intention at all. But there are legal pathways to get what (I think) you want and I guess I'm not understanding what solution you wish to arrive at? You said your sister is suing you, but you have PoA...if you could clarify it would be helpful to others who respond to you. Again, my sincerest apologies!
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Thank you for the apology. It means a lot.
That's just it. I don't want anything. I am not asking for any of her belongings. She started to break down all the family photos to give to each child/grandchild. Each would get all of "their" pictures. I want to finish that for her and distribute scanned copies to everyone. My mom wants to be cremated and she doesn't want anything else. No service, no memorial, nothing. At first I disagreed because I felt it wasn't fair to those of us left behind. Now, I see she probably knew there would be a fight over it. (If I could do it my way, I would have each person that wants them to take a little and scatter the rest.) Since my sister took her home, she has changed her phone number and not allowed me to see her or talk to her. When my mom was in the rehabilitation facility I was contacted by a social worker telling me she wanted to stay with my sister. My sister was allowed special privileges because she worked there. The head nurse of the rehabilitation center told me she spoke to the doctor and had my mom tested to see if she was incompetent so she could put her in a local nursing home. The doctor told her my mom was doing too well to be put in a home. After that they began to work on her about staying. Once she got to where they wanted her, then they agreed with the doctor's opinion. The day before I'm supposed to pick my mom up to bring her home, I get a call from a social worker at the rehab facility telling me my mom wants to stay. I should send all her medication and medical cards. My mom wasn't even in the room. Keep in mind when we were going to get the in POA in December, I called and text my sister and asked if she had any objections. She told me she couldn't think of any and she would call me the following day. She never called. I text her the day we went to get the POA and she still didn't respond. My sister is well into her 40's and she lives a party life style. She didn't want my mom. My mom came to live with me because my sister neglected her. She was so lonely and they would drop my mom off at all of her doctors appointments. They were getting paid to take care of her mind you! She literally told my mom to her face that she couldn't take care of her. After I found out what was going on at the rehab facility, I met with my sister and she brought my aunt. They both ganged up on me about how my mom needed to be around her family. I was literally in my aunts face arguing to bring my mom home. I suffered a nervous breakdown and almost ended up hospitalized. I had not choice but to walk away. My mental health depended on it. It was an extremely difficult choice because I had made a promise to my mom but how could I keep it with everyone fighting against me. I personally felt it was so they wouldn't have to travel 5 hours to come see her. Now my sister and I don't speak and she will not allow me to see my mom. I always thought I would be by her side when she passed.
All I want to do is make sure my sister's ashes get scattered with my mom's and I'm afraid if they take them, they will keep them and not scatter them. It was something my sister and I couldn't understand.
Again, I don't want anything but to scan the photos and scatter the ashes. That's it. I realize now that my mom probably knew that everyone was going to want to keep the remains and that's why she wanted them scattered. I have my memories and that they can never take them from me.
My mind and my heart are in constant battle. I hope I explained the present time a little better to help get an answer to my question. There is no money involved what so ever.
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If you have durable PoA (both medical and financial) you have all the authority and legal power to move your mother where you both agreed she would be. Either have both feet in or both feet out. Either give up the PoA if you aren't going to use it to help her while she is alive, or resign it to your sisters. She is not even passed away yet and everyone seems to be jockeying for position. You currently don't seem to be honoring her wishes, so why are you worried what happens to ashes? Also, does your mother have a will? Who is the executor of her will? That person is the one who is responsible to carry out your mom's wishes regarding her ashes -- if she stated it in her will. If that person is not you, give up the ashes. If it's not you OR either of your sisters, then that's another issue. I wish your mom a peaceful passing -- but that's up to her daughters.
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Well thank you for your harsh input. I didn't come here for judgement and it seems like that is what your doing. Just so you know, I suffer from depression and anxiety (due to childhood trauma.) You don't know the history behind it all and based on your horrible response, you don't deserve to. I
If anyone with an ounce of understanding or empathy has an answer to this question, please respond. What I will not tolerate is judgement. I get enough of that from my family. I came her for help and understanding not to be kicked while I'm down. I will share my story with those willing to listen with an open mind and heart.
Thank you for your wish regarding my mom's peaceful passing. I wish the same for her. Best wishes to you.
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