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My sister and brother-in-law, who is an attorney, secured DPOA from my father, who has Alzheimers. This happened in February and I just found out about it this month. I requested that they provide a copy of this document to myself and my two other sisters. They refused to provide it to any of us. I visited my dad in May (he lives alone, my sister provides care to him but she is one and one-half hours away). He is well physically but his short-term memory is terrible! Systems that have worked ok for the last two years are now failing. (meds, heating meals, etc) He told me he wanted me to help him to find a place to move but my sister refuses to communicate with me. I am in the medical field and she is clueless as to what an appropriate facility would be for dad. I live 2000 miles away. What can I do??

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Oo dear. Grimace.

So essentially your DPOA sister chucked her toys out of the pram once you requested formal information? Don't get me wrong, it was a perfectly reasonable request, but the formality, being formal, hints at 'checking.' 'Supervision.' I'm not sure how to describe it, but it's a sort of feeling that one is being second-guessed that, taken the wrong way, really grates.

It *shouldn't* grate. Ideally, you and your sisters ought to have been included as people who should be informed when the DPOA comes into force, and there would be nothing wrong with your having sight of the deed - what's the problem? But these things do rankle. Your sister is probably being as huffy about your view of the legal bits as you, quite understandably, feel about her view of the health care bits.

Does she take phone calls, respond to emails, that kind of thing? Could you write to her at your father's address?

The thing is, to do anything you do need to have some kind of two-way contact with her. Setting aside the DPOA issues, you all as a family would ideally be discussing options for your father's care. I'm sure you're right to suspect that she feels that your input to date "hasn't been enough" - which must surely be the silliest reason for rejecting increased input! but, mea culpa, the temptation is always there - but all you can do is keep plugging away in the hope of getting a good, workable plan together. Drop the DPOA subject and see if you can get at least a grunted acknowledgement from her that there does *need* to be a plan?
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It seems to me that when there are pre-existing struggles between siblings, parent care ratchets it up and the whole POA amps it further still. Having been both the intown sib caregiving and the outoftown sib, I've found that the intown needs to have POA to do the job more easily. I can't tell you how many times we've sent POA copies to do basic things like getting the doctor's office to send the bill to Medicaid or contact the credit card company about a question. My sister and I agreed from Day 1 that whoever was actually caring for the folks would be able to make the day to day decisions without static. Larger decisions we discuss but still, the intown has more clout because she sees and is responsible for much more.

What we've also found is that people are a bit tender in this circumstance and attitude and tone are really important. Perhaps your sister perceives that you are finding her care lacking and want to move Dad across country near you. That may not be the case, but everyone gets a bit hypersensitive in this phase of life.
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My only suggestion is to tell Dad to make sure he communicates his desires--to move, for POA, etc-- to POA sister--can he understand that she's the one who is in the driver's seat right now? Of course, he can appoint a new POA any time, as long as he has not be declared non-competent by a court. Is this a long standing family issue that is coming to a head here? Maybe give sis a phone call and find out what is going on in her head.
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Thank you all for taking time to answer! My sister told me about the DPOA in June. Since my mother passed two years ago, she has been doing the caretaking. My other sisters and I have sent money to help support her and have visited as often as we could. She has never felt like this has been enough support, and this pattern of non-communication has only gotten worse. A few weeks ago, it seemed that we would be able to work together to find the best placement for dad, whether that be in Arizona or Ohio. But after I requested a copy of dad's service discharge (so I could check on VA benefits here), and a copy of the DPOA, she sent a text saying she would no longer communicate with the sisters in AZ. I consulted an Eldercare attorney this morning and was told I have no legal recourse to get the information requested, I could pursue guardianship through the courts, but that has never been my intention. I could ask my dad for a copy of the POA, but anything like that just makes him so nervous, and if he had a copy of it, he would have no idea where to look for it. I cannot understand why she is refusing to send the other sisters a copy of the POA! I think it all boils down to a control issue!
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Who told you about DPOA? Dad, with his failing memory? Has he communicated his wish to move to the sister who is caring for him?
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Perhaps they refused out of a sense of obligation to respect Dad's privacy. Dad, of course, can share it with you if he cares to, and if he can find his copy.

Do you want to be his POA? Do you have medical POA for Dad? Or does Sis have that, too?

It seems like the main issue is whether it continues to be safe for Dad to live alone, and the selection of an appropriate place for him to live. Is that correct?

Why is Sis refusing to communicate with you, do you know? Is this a long-standing pattern? Ideally the two of you would discuss options, decide whether it would be good to find a facility near you or near her, discuss what he can afford, etc., and then together meet with him to discuss the options. But it doesn't sound like this situation is ideal.

Can we hear some more about the lack of communication from your Sis?
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Whoops. Got my logistics mixed up. You're apparently not caring for your father at home but living 2000 miles away, and the sister and BIL are 1.5 hours away?

You might want to change your profile to clarify that issue.
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Your profile states that you're caring for your father, living at home. I assume you're closer to him than your sister and the attorney BIL? Your father should have been given a CONFORMED copy of the DPOA (and anything else he might have executed). Was it your father who told you he executed this DPOA, and does he in fact have a copy? If not, perhaps you could help him search for it.

If your father has been diagnosed as having AD, if it's been staged and if your sister knew, she should have told her attorney husband that before he even considered a DPOA.

His actions might be grounds for filing a complaint with the ethics or grievance committee of the state bar association of the state in which he's licensed to practice.

That action most likely would inflame family relations, though, so consider it carefully, or perhaps just keep it in the back of your mind if you need a club against the BIL. You'd really have to be able to prove that your father wasn't mentally capable of executing the DPOA in February.

Notwithstanding, I agree that a new DPOA would be desirable, but if there's a diagnosis of AZ, and depending on the staging, that may be problematic.

Determine from his doctor what the stage is and if your father is still mentally capable of making important legal decisions. If you have a local attorney you want to use, explain the situation to him up front, and follow to the letter the guidelines for declration of incompetency so that if you father can still execute a new DPOA, there is no question of mental capacity.

If you want this new DPOA to be valid, address and resolve these issues so that there's no claim of undue influence, etc.
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This sounds like a bit of a family mess: is their some kind of history between yourself your DPOA sister and brother-in-law? I appreciate that it's hard for you to do anything from 2000 miles away; but what arrangement would you prefer to be in place if it were up to you? What is the view of your other two sisters?

If you are concerned that your father's living arrangements leave him at risk of harm, you could always contact his local APS, I suppose. Or, if you're entitled to some professional courtesy, what about his doctor?
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You call his county social services to check his welfare. He may not want to move, he may just be trying to get you to come to visit him. A DPOA would not go into effect until he is incompetent. Short term memory loss alone would not mean he is incompetent. He would have to be unable to care for himself.
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Yup that's what I would! Take Dad to an Attorney and get a new one..
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How do know about the DPOA? Do the relatives deny it exists, or they just won't show you? How about taking dad to an attorney to do a new one with you or the other sister as DPOA, revoking any prior ones.
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