Follow
Share

Mom is crippled from RA and is completely dependent on others for all of her care. My sister was originally POA for both her and stepdad (her dad). When he had a stroke that left him unable to work or drive, she moved them both to a nice assisted living facility. Stepdad has apparently always been violent (I didn't grow up with them, thank God), and got worse after the stroke. When he tried (again) to kill Mom at the assisted living, he was arrested and the court said he couldn't live with her anymore. My sister was going to file for a legal separation for them, so their assets could be split and they could both pay their bills, but before she could, my brother talked Mom into signing POA over to him. Then he moved her to a group home an hour away from my sister, where she sat alone in her room all day, watching TV. He told her she had no money, and wouldn't even get her hair done. When he announced that he was moving to Texas, my mom asked my sister to take her to a lawyer so she could assign POA back to her. She did, and my sister paid him out of her own pocket. Brother and stepdad were served restraining orders (both have threatened to kill my sister), but 72 hours later brother took Mom to his lawyer and made her sign it back to him. After he moved out of state, Mom ended up in the hospital due to neglect by the caregiver at her home. We found out about it when my aunt tried to call Mom and couldn't reach her. The home was closed, and when sister finally found her after five weeks at a rehab facility the hospital had released her to, she had none of her belongings. No clothes, glasses, teeth; nothing. When her Medicare ran out there, my sister found the current group home near her and brother signed for the transfer. Sister sees Mom every day, and has been buying supplies (depends, etc.) because brother won't take care of it, and won't respond to any of us. He is apparently having Mom's bills sent to stepdad to pay, and now he's refusing to do it. What happens to Mom if her bills don't get paid? Can the home just kick her out on the street? Sister wants to take care of Mom and give her some dignity and quality of life, but is powerless because she's not POA. Mom gave me up as a child, so I have my issues with her, but nobody should end up in a situation like this. Any advice would be welcome.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
When you meet with an elder law attorney, say these two magic words: Elder Abuse.
When you talk to the police, say Elder Abuse again.

State law defines how someone can resign or have their POA revoked. Your elder law attorney can help you get that done. All of these changes in the past may be invalidated if they were not done correctly. Paperwork and notarization is always involved.

For example, I thought my mother had no POA in her home state. When we went down to get her, I had the papers drawn up, and we had everything signed at town hall with the notary. When I went to use that POA document in that state, low and behold, mom had already done it with her brother and just never told anybody. My money and time had been a total waste in the end. The one that's recorded with the county is the one that wins. A new POA does not cancel a previous POA document. There is a process.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Well, you're fortunate that he's resigning on his own, which he can do, by giving notice as generally specified in the POA. Be thankful that you don't have to go through the mechanisms of forcing him out.

However, he's not relieved of responsibility for what he's done or not done during the time he "acted" as proxy.

In fact, I have a suspicion he's been mishandling more than just what you wrote about. It wouldn't surprise me if he more or less drops out of sight and loses contact with the rest of the family.

Although I don't have specific experience in someone resigning voluntarily, I do think that he is obligated to turn over all of his records, personal as to his so-called "administration" as well as those relating to your mother.

Then make sure to unleash the legal forces on him. Don't back down on this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Let Social Services take over. They have lots of lawyers on the payroll. If anyone lands in jail, it will be the stepfather. Abandonment is a serious crime. Medicare does not run out, and husbands who do can find their SS checks suddenly confiscated.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thanks, GardenArtist. It really is a mess. Actually, my mom abandoned me and the eldest of my three brothers to our abusive father when I was eleven. She took the younger boys and married my stepdad, then had my half-sister. I grew up thinking my younger siblings had the ideal life, but have found out over the last few years just how lucky I was. Since I've never been intimately involved with that part of my family, I feel strange sticking my nose in at this point, but as I said, no one deserves to be treated like this. My sister has tried not to involve the police, partly because of her fear of brother and stepdad, but also because Mom keeps flip-flopping. Sis had spent money on lawyers before, only to have Mom change her mind in favor of her abusers. She had finally decided to back away and just let Mom live with her decision when brother left the state. Now she's there with Mom, and makes it very clear to caregivers that she's there to help, but has no authority to make decisions. Mom is out of medication, and needs a new doctor to prescribe some. The doc who sees other patients at the home has refused to treat Mom after speaking with brother by phone. Sis asks her doctor to see her, and brother throws a fit because he didn't authorize it. He asks Sis to take Mom to urgent care when she gets sick, and then gets mad because he didn't authorize urgent care to admit her to the hospital. The social worker at the rehab center saw all this and tried to get the state to take guardianship of Mom, but the state said they couldn't find a lawyer who would take her case. Seriously, why have elder abuse laws if you're not going to enforce them?
Brother just sent sister a nasty text saying as of today, he will no longer act as Moms POA. I told him I don't think he can just quit, he has to do that through legal channels and produce Moms financial and insurance documents to whoever takes it over. Am I right? Or can he just quit?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If your brother violated the restraining order, someone should have contacted the police to arrest him. If he "made" your mother sign a POA, that's "coercion".

Why weren't the police contacted at that time?

The questions you ask can be answered simply: your mother needs to revoke the POA for your brother, ASAP. Contact the police and advise them the brother (a) violated the restraining order and (b) used coercion to force the execution of a POA in his favor.

Include the fact that he's used coercion in the past, is a threat to your mother's welfare, more so since he contacted her despite existence of the restraining order (but make darn sure he had been served by that time - check the court records for the proof of service which will reflect the date of service).

Then address all the financial accounts brother might have altered. Inventory them, change them to remove brother's name, and possibly even create accounts at a different bank so he's unaware where the funds are.

If you need to, ask the attorney who handles the "corrective" POA to have a paralegal do a financial audit to determine if there's abuse and/or confiscation of funds. If so, ask the police to add those charges to the violation of restraining order.

Once you have a corrected POA, contact all your mother's creditors, send them a copy if necessary, and have the bills sent to either you or your sister; joint POA with authority to act independently might be better so the two of you can work together; however, if you were "given up" which I take to mean adopted, it might be appropriate for your sister only to handle your mother's affairs.

There are also abandonment and neglect issues in leaving her at the facility which closed. Raise these issues as well with the police.

You have recourse - use law enforcement to help you, sister and mother out of this morass.

In my experience, police can arrest and incarcerate someone who violates a restraining order.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

What a mess. If mom is signing POA back and forth, she sounds like she needs a guardian. Get to an Elder Law attorney yesterday. (freqflyer is on point). You need legal advise pronto. This is really too much for our expertise. Good luck with this.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sounds like you need to talk with an Elder Law attorney to get this straighten out.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.