MIL ex-husband harassing us and telling lies about us to our family. MIL wants him to visit her but we don't want him to. Anything we can do?

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MIL ex-husband abandoned her and divorved her. But she now has lost her ability to make good decisions. We are POA for her. He issits on visiting her while he tells our family les about us and harasses us on the phone and in writing. We dont want him to visit her or at least want to limit his visits. We had an agreement with the nusring home to restrict the days he visits but he jus wrote our family, defaming us and telling everyone he can visit any time he chooses using the Patient Bill of rights as a basis.

Our question is, as POA can we at least limit his visits, especially since he harasses us constantly? Do we have to have a restraining order to do so or can we take other actions first?

We met with the nuring facility staff as agreed to allow him to see her ( my MIL wants to see him) on certain days so we would not run into each other, but he insists he ca come any time he wants and WE are the problem.

He constantly starts rumors with our family and they seem to believe him but he shows his real self to us by text messages and letters. He even threatened me with violence.

He WAS married to my MIL for about 5 years and they when she showed signs of her debilitation, he divorced her thinking he would have to use his own money to assist her. She has long term care ins from her first husband so this did not make much sense, but he divorced her anyway.

He is a promenant member of the local church and we feel like he is just trying to make a show to save face. We met with his pastor and even the pastor thinks he is a bit flakey.

Anyway, he has his own health issues and we are afraid he mishandles her when he takes her out of the facility to eat or otherwise, plus my MIL need assistance to use the restroom and they are not married so he has to undress her, clean her etc and that seem digusting.

We are tryng to balance my MIL wanting to see him and his attitude of dominance, harassment and disruption of our family by spreading lies about us. We'd like to avoid lawyers but it seems we may not have a choice, however, it also seem there is not much protection under the law for us anyway.

Any ideas, has anyone else had to deal with this kind of situation and what did you do?

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No, POA is not guardianship. A POA, once activated by the incapacity letters, and to some extent even without them, allows you to act in specified ways on behalf of the person. A financial POA lets you handle their bills and accounts and property; I did a lot for my mom using mine, and did not even have to get the letters (our state required two) until I had to sell her house. A healthcare POA lets you make healthcare decisions when they can't, which should be in accordance with their stated wishes as much as possible. Whether or not an incapacitated person could change the POA, validly, or have that change hold up if contested, could be a sticking point. Laws on this can vary.

The guardianship carries more responsibilities for reporting and requires the person be served with notice to file for it, and requires lawyers and a court proceeding that they may attend if able. Unless a guardian fails to live up to their responsibilities or abuses their ward, they can't be arbitrarily removed by the ward and they have some powers to make decisions that the ward does not necessarily have to agree with. You are doing a good job of thinking this through, but if the facility social work staff and others don't seem really sure about how it works in your state, do not hesitate to get a legal consultation to get firm answers on whether you need to do that to protect her interests.
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I have to say I can't *like* someone who is prepared to go to the lengths of getting divorced in order to avoid even potential financial liability. One's heart doesn't warm to the man, does it.

Then you have legitimate concerns about your mother's safety if she leaves the facility accompanied only by him.

By the way, POA is not the same as guardianship, no. A power of attorney is a legal instrument drawn up by a principal - in this case your mother - and given to a person she trusts to make decisions and conduct transactions on her behalf. Guardianship is awarded by a court to a person approved by the court to safeguard the best interests of a person who has no legal capacity, and is a heavier-duty affair. But I digress, and in any case Pam Stegman will have much more information about the process for you.

This is very difficult for your family and I sympathise. It goes against the grain to admit a visitor you're anxious about, with sound reasons for the anxiety. I shouldn't have thought it would be too difficult to impose reasonable conditions on his access. Given her self-care issues, for example, she ought perhaps to be accompanied by a suitable caregiver in addition to her ex-husband if she goes out for any length of time. The problem with a blanket ban on outings arises, though, if she enjoys them and benefits from them; that's why you don't want to put a stop to them altogether. They're a good example of why this kind of situation is so dam' complicated - wouldn't life be so much simpler if you could just make him vanish?

All I can say is be careful to separate your very natural dislike of this man from legitimate, evidenced concerns about your mother's welfare. Even if he is actually defamatory and openly hostile to you, that's a separate question - one you can take up in other contexts, perhaps - from whether or not he is fit company for your mother, especially if she continues to want to see him.

Doing your best to facilitate her social life is good practice. It's unfortunate that in this case that seems to require accommodating a person who is frankly a pain in the neck and a disruptive influence; but keep your focus on your mother's best interests and try to make his visits safe and peaceful.

Nice point of irony, that his importance to her stems from a relationship that he himself dissolved. What a breathtaking hypocrite he is. Hard to like, and it would be hard to blame you for wanting him gone. But don't fall into the trap of turning them into star-crossed lovers, them against the world, or you'll never hear the end of it.
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Countrymouse: Nuerologist issued a letter stating she is no longer able to care for herself or to use proper judgement in decisions.

pamstegma: Is POA the same as Guardinaship?
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When you say your MIL has lost her ability to make good decisions, is that just about her poor choice of ex-husband or do you have any other proof of her mental incapacity?
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Alabama, immediately seek Guardianship before he talks her into changing her POA. No other way.
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Believe me we are keeping everything, recording conversations, copies of letters, notes he leaves in her room, etc. We decided to talk to HIS family about it and it seems his daughter and son are somewhat sypathetic to our cause. Even THEY say he cant be controlled. So I guess its just a matter of keeping a closer eye on things.

I am sure he will make a mistake of some sort soon as he seems to be getting bolder and bolder. Surely at some point there will be cause for legal action and perhaps then people around us will finally see why we have been so upset with him.

We may just move her and not tell him where, or move her some distance he is not willing to travel, I dont know. I personally am avioding conflicts with him to try and keep the peace, but if he should take any further actions such as more medical appointments when she doesn't even need them and without my wifes permission, then I really think its time to file for some sort of injuction. Sadly, this will hurt my mother in law, but in the end its for her own good.

My mother in law can hardly walk now and we have trouble getting her into a car to take he out for a while, I have to wonder how he does this by himself! He's a danger to her, but for some reason no one else seems to think so or they claim nothing can be done or just pass it on to someone else.

For anyone else having even similar problems, all I can say is its I KNOW the stress it puts you and you family under. Ill pray for you please pray for us!
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Even though you have every reason to dislike this man, if you have an option that all visits are scheduled and supervised it would be a plus. He could do real damage. Documentation of threats made may not seem like proof but could be helpful if you are credible and have taken the high road as you appear to have done. You do need to make sure she cannot change or be bullied into changing her POA to be him if that is legally possible. A legal consultation and documenting MIL's status as incapacitated would probably be worth the effort and cost. Facilities legally typically can have disruptive people, even close relatives, escorted out by security and contact limited for cause.
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I too remember this question. Alabama, what's happened since then?
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Alabama, lot of good answers back when you wrote this same question a couple of months ago. https://www.agingcare.com/questions/mother-in-law-wants-ex-husband-to-visit-186509.htm

The ex-husband has no legal ties to his ex-wife. Time for him to close that chapter of his life.
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Found your old question. So, did you go to the police/prosecutor with his threatening written messages?
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