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She lived with my husband and I for two years met a man at church got married without my permission I have DPA the church people new how we felt and the pastor did also. We found out the day before they got married, and the following day her money was taken from the bank this was in both our names. I have been to an elder care attorney with paperwork and everything ,only to be told I did not have a case. Now fast forward a year now they will be married a year, from day one she calls him by my stepdads name, who passed 6 years ago. He cashed a check made out to my mom,and owed me $600 and said he didn't have any money. I asked him to take it out of savings, he said they didn't have savings, my mother has contributed over $30,000 dollars to that household and they don't have any money? Really and the attorney told me I didn't have a case. It's sad our justice system is so backward that they would not allow me to help my mother. I was told guardianship was very expensive,and it doesn't guarantee I would get it any way. So as far as I'm concerned, There is no justice , for the elderly being abused certainly not my mom. Oh if my mom was in her right mind she would never have picked this guy! Any one that knows my mom would testify in court to that.

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It sounds to me like you may very well have to save up your money and go for guardianship. It sounds to me like something definitely happened to her money as you described. Oh yeah, it's squirreled away all right in someone else's pocket I suspect. Anytime you find out someone's got serious money it can be tempting to take advantage of them, and just from what described it sounds to me like someone definitely took advantage of her. You just don't have several thousand dollars vanish overnight without some very legitimate reason, and something definitely sounds very suspicious.
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One more thing; if you are dealing with doctors who are using the term "Senile Dementia", you need new doctors. It's a very outdated term.
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Jeanne and Rainmom, I agree with what you said. People with dementia are competent to a certain point. When I read the statement that if the mother was in her right mind, she wouldn't have chosen this man, it made me think that JanieP was letting us know her mother wasn't competent. Of course, if she had not been diagnosed as being legally incompetent, it doesn't have much bearing. If the couple is legally married, there is little that can be done at this point.

There is a lot we don't know about this case, such as how he treats her. Maybe there is still money, but it is squirreled away. I do hope that it turns out well.
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I will just add that you have NO obligation to take care of you mom. She's competent. She made choices. Don't lend them money. Don't expect any monies from them.
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I am in agreement with jeannegibbs - having a diagnosis from a dozen doctors of dementia does not automatically make someone legally incompetent. It is only a first step in what needs to be a legal process. If you feel a loved one is incapable of making sound decisions one must take the necessary next steps legally in protecting them. Having POA means you can legally act in their stead but if you are in disagreement with an action(s) you have no authority to over-ride their decision without first having them declared legally incompetent by a judge and/or being appointed their guardian.
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Did I miss something, Jessie? I don't see that the mother was ever found incompetent.

Our culture and our laws highly value independence and self-reliance. We have laws to try to protect a vulnerable adult from exploitation and self-harm, but we are very, very reluctant to take away an individual's rights for self-determination. People are allowed to make their own mistakes, to make their own decisions even if they are very bad decisions.

Balancing between protecting the vulnerable and respecting each individual's right to self-determination is often a touch act!

If your mother had been at any point declared by a court to be incompetent I don't think your attorney would have given the advice he/she did. Having dementia does not automatically make someone incompetent in the legal sense. Most dementia patients do arrive at that point, if they live long enough, but in the beginning they are assumed to be competent until proven otherwise.

Please believe me, JanieP, I am sympathetic to your point of view. But I also understand that the law tries to walk a fine line when taking away person's rights to self-determination. Telling a woman that she cannot marry the person she wants to is pretty serious business.

You mention that the congregation knew how you felt. And? Did they agree with how you felt? Did they cover up for Mom and her suitor? Did the minister perform the marriage? Maybe the congregation's behavior about this is along the lines of the lawyer's opinion. You didn't have a case to prevent this.

Aside from the money, has Mom been happily married for the last year? Does she enjoy living with this man more than she liked living with her daughter? Does he seem to be taking good care of her -- seeing that she eats well, goes out for fun, gets social and mental stimulation? He seems to be a good sport about her not remembering his name. Do they still attend church? Leaving the money out of this completely, are they getting along well?
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I don't see how a marriage between people can be legal if one person is not competent. Parties in a contract have to both be competent for the contract to be legal. I think the law on this should be clear that people with dementia cannot marry after they have been found incompetent.
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