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I've been POA for finance and health for my parent for almost 2 years. It's a hard enough job, but one I was fine to do because I love my parent. However, it's been pure hell dealing with my parent's 3 children from an earlier marriage and who live in another country, who, despite being largely absent for decades, have come out of the woodwork after our parent was widowed and are now trying to revoke my POA in court and appoint a 3rd party guardian (they can't serve since they don't live in the country). They claim they are trying to "protect" our parent, who finds that utterly ridiculous because of our close, loving and trusting relationship and because I do everything to help him.


Anyone who knows me and my parent knows I've been caring for them for years and that we have a very close and loving relationship. My parent, who has mild dementia but who needs lots of help, wants me to remain the person in charge. The 1/2 siblings are bankrupting our parent in court and bankrupting my spirit. I can't think of anything else, have lost work and am basically in despair. I did not sign up to deal with them and they are totally unreasonable, demanding, and do NOTHING to help. In fact, they even want our parent to pay their legal fees in addition to their own!


I'm at my wits end and don't know where to turn. I am sick and tired of the months long court process which sucks my time and parent's money. I want desperately for it to end and to walk away, but I can't leave my parent unattended. What should I do? I have reached poverty level and have had to almost abandon my career and husband because of the time and energy this has taken, and I've become severely depressed and have to take meds to be able to sleep. I don't want my parent to become a ward of the state, and there is not a lot of money -- once the lawyers are paid there will be virtually none depending how long this continues.


I've tried to "settle" with the 1/2 sibs but I can't and won't meet their unreasonable requests which are super detailed and would require hours more of my time every week -- time I don't have especially as I do not work for them.


Any advice is welcome!

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The first thing you need to do is go see a doctor about your health. The second, and most important thing, is talk to a really good elder law attorney. Block any and all communications from the 1/2 sibs. What they're doing can be considered elder abuse. Sue them for emotional distress, elder abuse and exploitation as they are doing exactly that. Then get a live in caregiver or pt caregiver from an agency to help out. A good attorney will see right thru their game and make it clear that they need to BACK OFF....NOW. In the U.S. any court judge who sees this circus act will quickly make it known that these sibs don't have the right to undermine your ability, per your loved one, to act on their behalf. Doing so puts them in the limelight and not in a good way. Standing up for your father and yourself is the best thing you can do. The next time they try to make contact, give them your attorney's phone number and let the attorney deal with your sibs. Good luck!
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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Immediately seek out the best elder care attorney you can possibly find. Get the attorney if possible to prepare some kind of a legal document that your parent wants YOU to be the power of attorney. Do not, repeat, do not turn this over to them. And do not under any circumstances pay them a cent for anything, nor take the money from your parent - that is like admitting they are right. What exactly is it they are after? Is there a large amount of money involved and they want their share? Can you afford a care taker so you can have some recuperative time? Or would it be best to place the parent in a facility? If the parent needs help and you are physically and mentally no longer able to do this without greatly harming yourself, this is what you may have to do. Do not argue or try to negotiate with these people - any attempts will be futile. You must have a professional working on your side. Also contact the Office on Aging in your county for advice. Please stay clear of them - keep contacts to a zero level for your own protection. It is the only way.
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Reply to Riley2166
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This is so horrible. I do understand. I have similar problems. My advice, based on what I’ve learned from being in it myself, is to hire an elder law attorney, help your parent create an asset protection trust, appoint you Trustee, Financial POA, and health care POA as part of the Trust, and then you won’t have to answer to anyone. A Trustee does not have to share the details of their transactions, etc. You would answer only to your parent and/or the attorney. You could then direct them to your parents’ attorney with their demands and issues or ask the attorney to deal with them. Our elder law attorney charged for establishing the Trust, and after the first year, charges a flat yearly fee of about $1,700 to do whatever we need. My sibs have been awful. They do nothing to help but attempt to undermine me all the time because I have control. I try not to involve the attorney as much as possible but on occasion I have called and discussed this situation or that. I’ve gotten a range of things - advice, direction, direct help, and been connected to resources. In a couple of instances the attorney had a sib call him with their questions and he defined reality for them pointing out that they were not acting in my parents best interest. I strongly urge you to get a Trust done if your parent doesn’t have that, and if they do, to find an attorney who will act as a buffer between you and these “people”.
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Reply to ClairJ
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The Judge should be aware that this is draining your parent financially. That these "children" have not been in parents life.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Talk to your attorney about a counter suit while you are already in court.

This is crap behavior and if they have to pay for all of it maybe they will stop. One thing I know for a certainty, unless they win, they can not get the other party to pay their expenses.

You can sue for expenses, pain and suffering, vulnerable adult abuse, claim financial exploitation of a vulnerable senior. Your attorney can probably list a dozen things, but get it done and filed so it can all go on at the same time in court, your attorney can request that.

How do they think your dad is going to live if they blow all his money in court, are they trying to take him back to their country. What is their purpose in doing this? Is this all of yous dad and you had a different mom? could it be punishment because he left them and had a new family?
I am trying to understand because it makes no sense what they are doing.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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sunbrooke Mar 23, 2019
Yes isthisrealyreal, I believe they don't care if they bankrupt him since it will be an excuse to get him back to their country, where they can benefit from his monthly income and art archive. They don't have any concept that it is a full time + job to care for him. His one wish is to stay in his home in the US, which I have done everything to achieve for him -- despite their calling APS twice and finding nothing wrong, despite their coming to town and putting his house on the market without his understanding what was happening (I had to cancel the contract), despite their calling in an attorney to get him to revoke my POA and then him refusing and their demanding he pay their attorney fees, the list goes on and on. Yes we had different mom's. Yes it's probably punishment because he left them and moved to a different country and had a new family. They want control and money since he has given them none and put me in charge. They don't know me and hardly know him.
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A lot of good answers here. I would do precisely as Riley2166 has recommended. I would also recommend that you figure out a way to take a vacation (does not have to be far away or expensive) or a three-day weekend at the least and recharge your “batteries” very very soon. And, Riley2166’s suggestion about not speaking with the 1/2 siblings is good advice. Once you have your attorney in place, make one last comment to them giving them your attorney’s name and contact information and tell them that all discussions on the matter must ONLY go through your attorney, and that you will not be responding directly. Make sure the attorney is OK with this. Your life and that of your husband’s is just as important as your parent, do not let all of this harm your marriage. So, be strong. Best wishes.
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Reply to 20Eagle16
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Yes it is all about the money or your supposed misuse of money that they are after never mind it wasn’t theirs ever or at least until the parent passes away
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Reply to overnite6462
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Isthisrealyreal Mar 23, 2019
And then only if the parent wishes them to have it.
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I am also POA for my father and legal guardian of my "special needs" sister. I have found that no matter what you can not please everybody. You need to get an elder lawyer and let them handle things. Don't do this alone. I know what toll this is taking on you. DO NOT let this ruin your health and marriage. I am sure your dad wants you to be happy. Don't give in to those that have not been around for years.
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Reply to dee2848
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How is the "court" allowing this to continue? I am appalled. If you were appointed POA, I don't really understand how any of this is going on. I am so sorry for you. As others have said, get a really good elder attorney who can put a stop to this immediately. Your health is paramount. Get some help. Wishing you the best.
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Reply to geevesnc
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Simple answer is go to an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY and tell him/her that you, personally, are out of money and ask what your legal options are. You can opt out of being the POA but sounds like you don’t want to do that. I went to one 4 times. It cost $175.00 each trip and it was worth every penny.
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Reply to elaineSC
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