My POA was taken away by my brother while my mother was in a mental institution. Can he dictate when I can see and talk to my mother?

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My brother now interprets his POA as being able to dictate as to when I can see and talk to my mother. He will not allow me to visit with my mother in private. He has threatened me with criminal proceedings if I visit my mother and upset her. He refuses to allow the employees of the home she lives in to let me or my sons visit with her without his knowledge. She cannot call me and I cannot visit her in private. If she were to go into the hospital, no one could tell me except my brother. My mother was my best friend for 60+ years. We talked every day. We traveled extensively together and laughed till we were out of control. My brother has taken this all away and I am dying slowly along with having the loss of my mother while she is still alive. Am I crazy?

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Moved in, what, while your mother was in the mental institution?

I can't help feeling you've skipped a few essential points.

Anne, I am really sorry that you have this unhappy family history and that it has never been possible to resolve it. But we can't offer practical suggestions about what might help you if we don't know what's going on.

The "perhaps she was notified" comment was in answer to Jeanne's point that your brother could not have pursued guardianship of your mother without your being told about it, that's all.
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Your mother must sign a POA. No one can steal it. Your mother chooses who she wants to be her POA. Perhaps she didn't know what she was doing? That's where the attorney comes in. To help you prove she wasn't able to make that decision. That she wasn't competent to make the decision at the time she signed the POA appointing your brother.
On the other hand, if your brother sought guardianship of your mother, you and mother would have received notification that brother was asking a judge to make him guardian. You would have had an opportunity to protest and ask that guardianship be given to you instead. I think this is what was meant by telling more of what happened.
I hope you are able to visit with your mother often and that your visits are a comfort to you both.
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I do not understand when you say "perhaps she was notified". Do you mean my mother? You would like to hear more about the story? Are you sure? Everyone in the family was born in a small coal mining town in the North Of England....where no one left.... You took over the family business and married the girl next door and remained there till you died. But my grandmother was afraid that her only son (child) would end up in WWII. So she made sure he was enrolled in a university program for the AWRE (atomic weapons research establishment) to avoid war. So my mother and father, born and raised in small coal mining town get pregnant with me and move to the dark scary south of England, where everyone spoke the Queen's English, rode horses and played tennis. We did not belong and it was a long history of not belonging. My brother was born with a birth defect (6 years my junior). Yes it was horrible. yes my mother was blamed for it, yes my father's parents tried to drown my brother before he was a year old. But I thought my brother was the most gorgeous doll anyone had ever given me. I loved him and quickly learned how to assist my mother in his special needs. Fast forward,,,,,my father a world-known nuclear physicists is offered a position in the US so the already dysfunctional pathetic family moves to the US. Years pass and my brother, though physically healthy remained a trouble maker and mentally abusive to my parents. I was away at college so I was spared the drama. So the past 40-years have been a roller coaster ride with my brother who is full of anger because of hiis birthdefect and blaming my parents for it.....has created drama after drama. My mother and I remained best of friends. Talking every day on the phone, lunch at least twice a weeks, trips to Arizona. New Mexico, Banff Canada, Portugal and Spain....inserperable. I will leave some of it out because this is too much..but my brother moved in and used the "I have a birth defect routnie", stole power of attorney and won't let me see my mother
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Perhaps she was notified. Anne, would you like to say a little more about the background to this?

But meanwhile I forgot to say first that I strongly agree with Jeanne in her sympathy for your situation. It must be extremely painful for you, and I am sorry for that. Are you still able to visit your mother under supervision?
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Hmm, CM, yes that would give him legal authority to do all these things. But he could not have done that behind his sister's back. She would have been notified.
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I wonder if perhaps Anne's brother successfully applied for guardianship of their mother?
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No, you are not crazy. Losing a loved one while they are still alive is particularly painful.

No one can "take away" a POA. Your mother would have had to sign a new document to do that, in front of a notary. If she was in a mental institution at the time it is possible that she was not really competent to sign it, and you could contest it on that basis. But that would depend on her cognitive state at the time. Just being in a mental institution would not be enough to prove that brother coerced her.

The POA does not have the authority to make the decisions about who can visit and the circumstances of the visit. The Medical POA (healthcare proxy) does have that authority. Does your brother have that, too?

If you visit your mother, she may get upset for any number of reasons. She may react to something you say, or just to seeing you because she misses you so much, or because she can't quite reconcile the mental picture she has of her daughter (at age 10) with the person she sees now. Many reasons are not under your control. You do nothing to upset her -- her mental condition is upsetting.

I think at this point you need to see an attorney specializing in Elder Law, and learn what your legal options are. Perhaps the lawyer can determine if your brother has a legitimate Medical POA, and also contact the facility and encourage them to allow your visits. This will be an expense, but I really think it is worthwhile to resolve this issue. If you and Mom were so close for all those years, she is probably missing you something terrible, even if she cannot articulate that now.
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