How do we get Power of Attorney for mom when step dad's a controlling attorney?

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Our mother is diagnosed with Alzheimers. She lives at home with our stepdad who is 88 and still lucid, but not willing or able to provide the care for mom. How do we get POA? Can we ask him for it? Does our mom have to go to a lawyer and assign her son? He's a lawyer and pretty controlling, sometime angry and abusive of mom.

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If the stepdad is abusive and not giving proper care,I would hazard to say his mental health is not good. A family doctor could help your case.
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If your mother has Alzheimer's, she will be deemed incompetent mentally to give a POA to anyone. As her spouse, her husband is the next of kin and it would be up to him to do any decision making for her. A warning- someone here suggested taking your mother along with downloaded power of attorney forms to get a bank notary to witness her signing them and suggested you use underhanded methods. No matter what that person's notary said, the signature of someone with Alzheimer's or dementia is NOT legal. Doing something like this can get you arrested for fraud. A person with Alzheimer's/dementia is considered incompetent to sign legal papers.
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I challenge that stepdad is lucid if he won't care for Mom. That needs to be assessed by county elder care authorities.
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I would suggest you get POA papers from somewhere.I got mine from online.
Take your Mother to an appointment without your stepdad. Stop by your bank and have her sign the papers. After this ,you should have a bit of power for her health decisions. Do what needs to be done. You are dealing with people who you might have to do a bit of underhanded ways but in the long run,you will have some peace of mind.
I thought my bank Notary would not let Mom sign since she was ill but she said she could only notarize things without question. Call your bank and ask before you head there.
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If your dad is unfit, consult with your local state Dept of Aging if his behavior is serious enough to dictate an eval. This will start your paper trail. The assigned Social Worker will access and provide her recommendation. Concurrently, contact your state Superior Court's Probation Dept to begin filling proceedings for Guardianship. If there are other siblings decide prior to going to court how you all will carry out this duty (i.e. shared, collateral in substitution of inability to serve of one another, etc). Unless your mom qualifies for free legal aid be prepared to pay for court expenses. Also, begin keeping a log of activities that you witness your father engaging in that would help to substantiate his inability to care for your mom. Hope it works out for your family-
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I recently visited an elder attorney. He explained that there are different levels of POA. That the first level is POA over medical decisions, the second is POA over all affairs, and the third, most restrictive level, is guardianship.

At least in my state, POA at the first two levels only gives the POA appointee the legal right to make decisions also for a person. That person still has a voice in a decision. With guardianship, the person no longer has a voice in decisions. For this, you have to go to court to legally establish incompetence on the person for whom the guardian is being appointed.

He informed me that such matters do have to go to court (probate court) here when there is a dispute over guardianship.

However, whoever is acting on behalf of your mother should be respecting her decisions unless they have a guardianship over her.

Otherwise, this is elder abuse. I am having to deal with this issue myself since I do not have POA for my mother and she has a similar situation going on.

Unfortunately, these cases rarely get to court before an elder dies. It can take up to 5 years to resolve these cases.

Best of luck. I just pray for protection for my mother. And I will use the lawyer's advice (and the lack of legal knowledge of my mother's current POA) to try to "sneak" her out of her situation when the opportunity arises.
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The donor is your mother. It doesn't matter how controlling her husband is; the POA goes to whomever she appoints as such.
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Mom is the only one who can give POA, and she can give it to whomever she pleases. How lucid is your mother? Even with dementia she can sign the POA document IF she understands the concept of giving someone else the authority to act on her behalf and she has not been deemed incompetent by a court.
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