Her husband recently abandoned her and has separated from their home. While it is still unclear as to what her husband wants to do, it seems apparent that he does not want to resume/return to the marriage. Both are in their early 80's and one has been diagnosed with early signs of the dementia illness (my mom's husband). My sisters and I would like to initiate protection for my mom as it seems her husband's family is planning a permanent separation or worse, divorce. Moreover, my mom's husband was completely taken by surprise as he left the home with his elder daughter, who claimed my mom was verbally abusing her father. Without any notice, both left (claimed to be going to the store) and never returned. This was one week+ ago. We have been in contact with the family as well finally with my mom's husband who simply called for his medical card, clothes to be shipped to his daughter's home and a statement of "take care of your mom, I wish her well." This side of the family has told us that they are taking him to a dr. out of state for further testing and that this would take up to 2+ weeks. Thereafter, no real plan was communicated. All of this info was left on a voicemail. Right now, we are waiting to hear word from my mom's husband as to what it is he wants to do to move forward. I can assure you there is no abuse of any kind. My mom has has been married to this man for over 15years (this is her second marriage as my biological father passed away from a heart attack in 1992 after over 30+years of marriage). We believe her husband's side of the family may have other motives, financially and are completely shocked as to the turn of events. That said, we want to understand her current rights, and want to protect her - can she initiate a power of attorney at this point and assign her daughters so that we do not have her husband involved in any important decisions moving forward - financially, medically, etc. though she is of sound mind still and in good health?

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She can initiate (have an attorney prepare) both DPOA and medical POA for herself and name her daughters (and husbands if desired) as joint proxies, either with one or two as primary and the others as secondary, or jointly, with rights to act independently if you're all on the same page in terms of handling her legal, financial and medical affairs.

I wouldn't wait the 2+ weeks for medical eval of her husband; I'd get started right now on protecting her, and her assets. Was there a pre-nuptial agreement? If not, how are their joint assets held? In whose name is the deed for the house titled?

The fact that she's of sound mind is one of the reasons she should act now to get her affairs in order.

This can be handled either by an elder law or estate planning attorney. I would also see a matrimonial (f/k/a divorce attorney) as well. Divorce is highly specific and regulated and an elder law attorney wouldn't be a good choice for this aspect. Even if divorce proceedings aren't instituted, your mother should be able to protect her rights and assets.

If you do pack up the husband's belongings, it wouldn't hurt to inventory and photo them before sending (at the husband's or his family's expense). If you have a detailed photo and paper inventory, there can't be any claims of theft or withholding of personal items.

Make a quick inventory of all her assets as well, just to be on the safe side.

I think Pam, VStefans and RainMom are all on the right track. I sense some planning, plotting and conniving, and wouldn't be surprised if his family escalates some kind of legal action.
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I hope you're keeping an eye on any joint holdings - especially bank accounts.
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You need a shark to fight their shark. Whether she did yell at or abuse him in some way when you were not there to see it (my own mom WAS just awful with my dad, but that's another story...) she needs asset protection. Pam is right - lawyer up, and fast; I'm thinking divorce attorney more urgently than eldercare, though both aspects may become important. Naming you POA for medical and financial may in fact not be a bad idea as things could otherwise default to soon-to-be-ex hubby at least if anything happens before the divorce goes through. You would not actually use the POA for anything unless she became incapacitated. Sorry this is happening to you!
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Immediately seek an attorney, because the husband was basically kidnapped and mom's spousal rights were illegally cut off.
She (mom) cannot initiate a POA over her husband, nor does she need one, because a wife has rights by virtue of marriage.
I suspect that these people will seek Guardianship over him in another state, which is appalling and which is why your mom needs an attorney NOW.
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