My stepfather's estranged biological children are coming out of the woodwork! How do my sister and I handle this? - AgingCare.com

My stepfather's estranged biological children are coming out of the woodwork! How do my sister and I handle this?

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My sister and I have been given power of attorney for my stepfather, having been in his life for 26 years. His own two daughters have written him off and have been estranged the majority of those years. Our stepfather accidentally called his biological daughter recently while in the assisted living facility. He thought he was calling me (he has dementia), which is how she found out he was there.


We had just settled him in there that week and had every intention of informing them of his status, which really we didn't have to. He is not dead, but they are treating this as if he were already, and are wondering about a will or trust. They are also now questioning the power of attorney and being very hostile, questioning the sale amounts of his previously sold house, and his house intended to go up for sale soon.


She is also calling the staff at the assisted living facility about his financial affairs, to which they rightly answer that they cannot disclose, unless power of attorney agrees and is present to answer any questions related finances and the facility.


I am prepared to tell them to call our attorney, but recently I received a VM from the eldest biological daughter. We were waiting to hear back from our attorney regarding the daughters' intended visit to see their father and the facility with us there as POA and, as family members who have been there for him all along. But she recently let us know that she did not want us there at all, after all. What I want to say to her is, "Why, what are your intentions?" And that, regarding financial matters, "you should speak with our attorney." And, to her question about why we were given power of attorney and not her, "...it is because of your years of estrangement from your father."


Is this last statement advisable? And, as POA, while they are free to see their dad privately, is it advisable that we be present during their visit with the staff director there?

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I am in a situation with stepfather's family as well. But I can't even follow your post because it's just too overwhelming. I wish you the best of luck. It's very very hard.
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Reply to Sunset3339
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I did not talk to my father for over 20 years because of an estranged relationship. Sometimes things need to be said without others present. You could talk to the facility and have their meeting conducted in an open area where it can be monitored but I do not think you need to hear what is said between them.
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Reply to tacy022
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When some one does NOT want the POAs to be present when they see the resident, then the POAs should suspect that the visitors are going to attempt to get the resident to sign a NEW POA document or sign some checks or other financial documents such as a NEW WILL.

DO NOT LET the estranged biological children visit your Step-Dad for any reason unless you are present and tell the eldest biological daughter that she or any of the other biological children can visit only when your or your sister or your attorney are present at the visit(s).

How did your Step-Dad "accidently call his biological daughter recently while in the assisted living facility"? Is her phone number listed on his cell phone? If so, then delete her phone number from your step-dad's cell phone. Is her number listed in your Step-Dad's medical records and did one of the staff members call the biological daughter thinking that she was calling you at your Step-Dad's request to "call his daughter"?

You can restrict who can and cannot visit your Step-Dad. You can also require that ANY visitors have to be SUPERVISED by the nursing home staff at all times in such a way that the staff person supervising them can SEE and HEAR the ENTIRE CONVERSATION between the resident and the visitors. That the visitors are required to visit the resident in a PUBLIC AREA of the nursing home such as the Resident Dining Room and NOT in the resident's room. While this form of supervision puts a great deal of stress and strain on the nursing home staff, it is another way to cover any unexpected visits that the estranged children might attempt to make. I prefer that you tell the nursing home that the estranged children CANNOT visit unless you or your sister are present during any visits with your Step-Dad.

NEXT, you will need to talk to your attorney and prepare for "THE FIGHT". As I would not be surprised if your Step-Dad's biological children attempt to petition for guardianship which means that you may have to counter-petition for guardianship.

Do whatever is in the BEST interest of your Step-Dad. Good Luck.
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Reply to DeeAnna
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I am sure each facility has its own rules, but when I signed my Mom into memory care, I was asked who was allowed to visit and who was allowed to take her out of the facility. In view of their questions on his financial status, my feeling would be to not allow visits at all ... or if they were allowed, I would want to be present. They might bring documents and ask him to sign them. His diagnosis might allow him to sign but then you will be fighting in court to use your POA.
I doubt the facility I had my Mom in would agree to even meet with these folks. Remember, your step dad gave you authorization to protect his affairs. Don't hesitate to do it.
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Reply to geewiz
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