How do I address the situation of my dad wanting a divorce at 87?

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My parents have had life-long marital issues. I've lived halfway across the country for over 30 years. In the past year, my dad has been frequently calling me, telling me that my mom is losing her mental capacities, being accusatory to him, and other complaints. I've been hearing forms of this theme all of my life, but now they are age-related in nature. I provide suggestions such as talking to her doctor, seeking local social services, talking to his attorney, and other forms of advice. Each time, I hear one excuse or another from him saying that it either can't be done or she refuses help. My mom is showing signs of age-related decline, but when we visited for 2 weeks a few months ago, I didn't perceive that she wasn't reasonably self-sufficient. (And I frequently speak to her on the phone and she is accusatory of my Dad claiming he has mental issues.)


This week I've been dealing with some health issues of my own and along with work issues. Yesterday, after coming out of sedation from emergency oral surgery, I find that he had called me saying he never wanted to talk to me again and my mom had moved in with my sister who lives locally. I realized he had called a few times over the past few days and I didn't see his messages (basically with the same recurring complaints). He said he was going to divorce my mom. This has been a constant theme for 50 years. I've called repeatedly and he won't answer. And I find that he has cut off my mom's cell phone number.


To make matters worse, I haven't spoken to my sister for over 6 years ever since she launched into a hateful accusatory tirade at me over not being sympathetic to my mom's side of the story. (I try my best to be impartial to both of my parent's complaints.) My sister also refuses to talk to my dad from what he tells me.


Given the current situation, and being the executor on his will, I feel it's time for me to step in and take control. I'm thinking it might be best for one or both of them to be in assisted living. My sister is another issue in that I think she will fight anything I do. Also, while they are not wealthy, they do have a reasonable amount of assets.


I'm thinking the best place for me to start is contacting a local family practice attorney who deals with aging issues in the area. Any other advice in addressing this situation?

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Take control of what?

Do you have Power of attorney, either for healthcare or finances for either of them?

Being executor means nothing until they die, as cwillie points out.

Do you think your father is the one having mental issues?
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Being his Executor means nothing until after he dies. Since this seems to be more of the same continuing drama that has been part of your life forever
"He said he was going to divorce my mom. This has been a constant theme for 50 years"
I don't see why you even bother to react to it anymore. If he (or your mom) needs Assisted Living that is a different question altogether, one that is asked all too often on this forum... how can I get my parents to accept outside help or move into AL? You might try typing that question into the site search box and read what others have had to say.
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