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My dad had done up a will and Durable Power of Attorney after my mom passed away 4 years ago. Less than a month ago, my dad's girlfriend had my dad (who had a stroke 9 months before) change his will and also did up a new POA. The ink wasn't even dry and she advised my dad's children that she has POA now and the house will go up for sale and 2 days later she changed the locks and we no longer have the keys. We feel my dad is not able to make the decisions to change his will, but found out from a lawyer that it's a large threshold for competency to sign that. We just want to know what we can do, as we think he is being coersed into doing what his girlfriend wants. We have one of his doctors saying he is incompetent and another saying he is not. She won't let us visit him alone, and she puts the phone on speaker everytime we call. Is there anything we can do about it. His stroke in Feb 13' was a severe stroke still with incompetency.
JP
Seattle, WA

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There are lawyers and social workers who specialize in elder care and solving family problems regarding elder care. I would recommend that you find one and arrange for the whole family to sit down (girlfriend and Dad, siblings) and talk everything through with the lawyer or case worker. They can do a good job of facilitating this type of thing. I'm sorry I don't can't recommend anyone in your area as I live in DC. But I went to a great panel in our area where one of the participants did this type of thing and described a case that she worked with exactly like yours. You might try contacting geriatric care managers - here's a site for the national organization. http://www.caremanager.org/why-care-management/what-you-should-know/ Elder care is really stressful for everyone and have a neutral facilitator could be a god send. Good luck.
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Thank you so much, these are all great help!
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Get protective services involved. Have your ducks in a row as far as any information that you can give them that they may or may not need such as previous power of attorney and previous will etc. Also have the statement from the physician who stated that he is not competent.

Protective services will do an investigation. If there is a reasonable chance that this woman is causing elder fiduciary abuse, they will ask a judge to step in and appoint a temporary public fiduciary to take over his assets and complete an investigation. The investigation will include an evaluation of his cognitive status, the woman's background, the family relationship, and the books.

In my uneducated legal opinion, logic tells me that she is acting only as his caregiver. His assets are not her assets to use as she see's fit. Since they are not legally married, then it is not a husband-wife issue especially since they avoided becoming husband and wife for monetary gain. I do not believe she can have it both ways, either she asks for the benefits from being in a common-law marriage or she asks for the benefits of not being married.

I do believe that you as children are infinitely more bound morally and legally to your father than this woman as she can only claim at the most being a girlfriend.

I would request from APS a court appointed medical and mental evaluation of your father in addition to the opinion that you already have.

Write up the scenerio in a concise manner and tell your story to APS honestly without any exagerations, half-truths, etc. Simply show your sincere concern. If APS feels that there is a problem, they will keep the case open and help you locate a good lawyer who specializes in elder abuse. Your goal should be to make sure that he will always be protected from someone taking advantage of him, not just this woman.

They may encourage your father to allow for a private fiduciary and lawyer to handle his financial affairs for him, hopefully forever. As long as he can, a good fiduciary will have him participate in how his money is spent with the goal of keeping it safe and having it last as long as he wishes. They will pay the bills, deal with his material needs, and nuture his money. His new lawyer, without the help of his children or this woman, can facilitate him making up a new will and POA for finances and healthcare if he is competent to do so. If not, can have the other revoked. His children should stress that it is his money to do as he wishes after he is gone. However, while he is still on top the ground, he needs to keep his nest egg intact fully to assure that he will always have money to provide for himself. No friend nor family member should be helping themselves to his nestegg. If he becomes incompetent, the fiduciary will then keep the money safe and spent wisely so that it will last him a lifetime hopefully. They are bound to that by their profession.

The elderly do not need to be completely mentally incompetent to be taken advantage of. They are very vulnerable to manipulation and the courts and APS recognize this as well. So he should be considered vulnerable even if it is found that he does not have full blown dementia. With a stroke, the person has a type of closed brain injury. They may be able to function fine and in general under loving and secure circumstances make sound decisions with regards to their health and finances but under duress and manipulation be easily fooled and suckered.

Your father may be being told that you children are trying to make him out as totally incompetent and he may be misinterpreting your intentions. A common denominator of elder abuse in addition to changing wills, POA's, and titles is isolating the individual from their friends and family. Be sure, the experts can spot the pattern a mile away. If things are found not right with his money and his relationship with this woman and if APS normally can spot it so fast.

There is always that possibility that your father, however, is fully competent but a complete idiot and is like a lot of guys not thinking with his brain. In that case, you gotta just let him do what he is bound and determined to do. If he spends his wad on this lady and ends up in a nursing home filing for welfare, then so be it. It would be his decision. You can still love him but if that is the case he made his bed...it would be his loss and not your fault.

Good luck.
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Check with an elder care lawyer. Generally PoAs signed when a person is incapable are void, and there is a definite issue of capacity here.
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If it were my mom or dad, I'd be at a lawyer's so fast your head would spin. From what you've written, this lady is up to no good. I just don't understand second wives (and she's not even his wife) cutting off biological children and changing beneficiaries and POAs and wills, etc. I can only assume greed is involved. When someone has greed as their primary motivation, then their concern for your dad's well-being takes on a secondary priority. Find out what your rights are and what you need to do to protect your dad. Have you been following Casey Kasem's family drama? Sounds very much like this. His second wife has cut him off from his children from his first wife, his brother and his former employees. It's very sad.
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She took my mother to the hospital for each of my moms last two child births. Her and her husband were in our lives as my parents friends. She was how she normally is until my dad had his stroke, actually it happened after my dad had his stroke. It started about 4 months after his stroke. Maybe she is depressed or bipolar or something. We have tried to make it easy on her but we can't do anything right any more. Any thoughts if I should forget contacting APS and just go through a lawyer? I don't want to have to remove him from her house but if she is up to no good then I will have to. He is more than welcome at my brothers house or back at his own house and we can get a caregiver for him.
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As this lady was a good friend of your mothers did you have contact with her before and if so what did you think of her. Has she changed? How old is your Dad? the girlfriend? From your side of the fence she sounds like a sociopath but as I said your side of the fence. We have not heard her side. From where I sit she sounds as though she is up to no good. Are her children close to her or do they just turn up when there is something to get. Is the plan for dad to return to his own home or hers. I do agree you need legal help ASAP
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I don't know if I mentioned before, but she had dad put a large amount of money in an annuity to gain better interest (which is good) but made her beneficiary...she said this is so she could pay bills when he is gone. What bills?
His house is paid for, his monthly income is double to triple what his monthly bills are...so what bills. Everything just doesn't make since and she is not willing to talk to us. That's what worries us.
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None of us kids have done anything wrong, except one has yelled at dads girlfriend telling her they have been around longer than she has. We are only interested in our dad not being taken advantage of. If someone else is paid to care for him and he is getting good care then we don't care. We just are concerned that she won't tell us what the new will says or the power of attorney when we all had copies of the old ones. So we know that wasn't dad's doing. We feel if someone is involved and we know she isn't doing stuff for her own profit or gain, then we will be fine with that. Plus, why does her family have access to my dads house when none of us do? Something just doesn't seem right!
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I so disagree. It is a very aggressive act to change a will that may cut out the children. A father just doesn't do that. Late relationships I know about are usually set up so that the children of each person are still the beneficiaries of their own parent's estates. I see nothing JPloegman wrote that indicated that anything bad had been done by the children. What it looks like to me is that the present woman in his life wants to sever the relations from a former marriage. This is not an unusual circumstance. Sometimes it is done for greed, sometimes it is done for jealousy, sometimes the new partner just does't like the children. Whatever the reason, a woman standing between a man and his children is wrong unless the children have done things wrong. I don't see that from what we've been told.
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The bulk of concern here seems to be money and assets and paying other people instead of paying you. That is why the locks are changed, she is afraid you will start taking things. Respect her privacy, respect your father's decision about POA. Bear in mind that if you call in APS, they may side with her and throw the rest of you out. If your father is in a Nursing Home, arrange to visit when she is not there. If there are arguments, the nurses will throw EVERYBODY out the door. Your father is very wise not to pick sides, because he would only be caught in the middle of something that is ugly.
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Since then, she has been talking bad about all his kids behind their backs to the other kids. When she is confronted with why she said that she says the other kid is just trying to cause problems. When she's confronted with something she said directly to a person, she says I don't want to talk about it anymore. It seems so petty. She is paying her family to care for dad now, out of dad's money, because she is POA, and has fired everyone on dad's side. My brother who was POA wanted to see the new POA and the new will, and she says she doesn't have to show it to him. We just want to make sure he is taken care of and that he is not taken advantage of. She has already gotten him to put a large sum of money in an annuity with her as Beneficiary. Now she wants him to sell his house, he is afraid of making her mad, he is like a scared little kid. We just want to know what we can do...even if he has his own caseworker and guardian ad lidem (sp).
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No one has taken anything from my dad's house. She was my moms friend for many years. Became closer to dad after mom passed (she is a widow also). About 9 months later they are dating and 6 months after that they have a commitment ceremony so they don't lose their widow benefits. She has a couple of pensions from her widow. After his big stroke he was in hospital and rehab for 5 months, then when Medicare ran out he went to my brothers house for a month, because his girlfriend had surgery on her hand and couldn't care for him. It was during this time she became more nasty because she didn't want my brother and sis in law to care for him. She started belittling them behind their backs. They did an excellent job with his care. This brother was POA at the time. My dad's girlfriend wanted to do my dad's bills so my brother said sure. They weren't paid for his care, but they didn't ask to be either. They didn't even ask for help with utilities or food. While in their care he had a seizure, which I guess is not uncommon, and ended up in the hospital for a couple more days. My dad's girlfriend was adamant that dad go to a nursing home until she could take care of him (her hand was still not healed). My brother said no way he is coming back to my house, he doesn't need to spend close to $10 k to be there when he can be in a loving home. She became even more belligerent towards them...behind their backs. I wonder if she is scheming at this time. He went to stay with her, because that's what dad wanted, the first week in July.
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Where is Dad? Is he in a Nursing Home? Is the house being sold to pay for his care? Is she caring for him at her house? It's really hard to get the whole picture here. Legally, he is competent to sign everything until a judge in surrogate's court appoints a guardian for the "person" and "property". Why did she change the locks, have things been taken from the house? Who took them and why?
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Ditto on above comments - get the situation investigated ASAP. Maybe the girlfriend did the POA on a website like legalzoom.com? You said he had the stroke in Feb and was incompetent at that time? There is legal incompetency (insufficient mental capacity to choose and sign a POA) that a lawyer has to determine before drawing up the documents. Then there is a medically declared incompetency which has to be attested to by doctors. It sounds like you need to launch a full investigation into the actions of this girlfriend. You can call Adult Protective Services as suggested above, AND you can also call the police for an "Elder Care Check". She cannot refuse to let them in. Perhaps you can go along with the police to see what is going on for yourself. Even as POA, I am not sure she can lock you out of the house and deny you all contact with your father. It would seem she ought to have some valid grounds to do that. You might even tell the police and the APS that she listens in on your phone conversations - I would say that is an invasion of privacy, especially if she has no right to restrict contact with him.
Just out of curiosity, how long has this woman been your Dad's girlfriend and has she been his caregiver as well? Was there acceptance of her friendiship between your family and her before this happened? If she has been doing the majority of the caregiving, she may feel a sense of 'entitlement', and/or she may actually be a 'con artist', and turned him against the family because of that. Either way, the situation calls for fast action on your part. Please keep posting as things develop, so we can learn from your experience. My best wishes for a favorable resolution to this terrible situation.
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I would alert the county about what is going on. Adult Protective Services may be interested in paying a visit. It may be that this woman knows exactly what she is doing, and is not a novice in playing this game. If she is a crook, it would be good to get her under some governmental scrutiny so that she is not free to spend all of your father's money.
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If Dad is not incompetent now, he gets to decide whether his house gets sold and his kids get to see him, not the POA. Unless it can be argued that he was competent to change the POA then suddenly became incompetent over the next two days, which does not seem real likely. You need legal help and fast, and can try the route of going to APS with this adn they would then at least be able to go in and talk with your dad as part of the investigation.
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