My sister co-owns home with Mom, bought 75% bridge loan from her original paid off home. The issue is sister got married; her husband is abusive toward Mom, and anyone who comes to assist. One major issue is that Mom lives for gardening in summer. She is wheel chair bound and cannot haul hoses around the yard for watering vegetables and side gardens. Years ago, she paid for installation of underground sprinkling to easily water all zones since she was aging. The son-in-law keeps turning off the program so they won’t run.

We have to drive 10 minutes to go down her basement to run them once, for that day. This should not happen because she owns the home, she is disabled, and she pays bills there also. She is being denied the right to grow Hydrangeas, flowers and vegetables as many perennials have died. Today I was helping to weed and water. Mom asked to troubleshoot sprinkler heads and adjust so they stay on her property. Each time I turned them on, they went off. We thought they were not working correctly; I kept running back downstairs, switched them back on again and the zones had to keep starting over. This time, I closed the panel door and locked it wondering what was going on. The son-in-law who had not yet left for second shift, was shutting them off behind us! After I locked it, again without a word, he tore the unit off the wall, nearly damaging the unit as it was left hanging from the waterline. When I ran back in to check it, he blocked me from going down the steps to turn it back on, and verbally attacked - swearing and telling me to go home. He had this blank stare with glint in his eyes, laughing as he swore and yelled at me. This is not the first time he has attacked when I go over to help our Mom do physical chores because she is unable. He has been abusive to our mom on several occasions. She often feels defeated, like she has nothing to live for at times. I was very upset when I learned that she got her crutches out and was trying to drag the hoses out by herself and leave them at the back of the yard so that she could get to them again. He kept putting them away, making water inaccessible to her. She has rights, and doesn’t deserve to have someone breaking her belongings. Please help.

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Bring your cell phone, turn it on. Record all of this. Go to the police. File a report with APS, Get the proof...get video and recordings.

You must take steps to protect your Mom. She needs to get an order of protection. Force that man out of the house!
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Son in law needs to move.
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Did you your mother sign any agreement that the SIL could move into the house? In most states when two people own a house together (unless they are a married couple) both have to agree to any new tenants. If she didn't agree to his living in the house in writing, then it should fairly easy to get him out if your family is willing to take the legal steps. If she did agree he could move in, it will be a little harder to move him out but given his abusive behavior it could still be done. Find a good family and/or elder law attorney.

Threatening behavior can result in assault charges even if someone doesn't actually hit you - particularly when they are damaging someone else's property. Next time, call the cops and get documentation of his aggressive behavior. Record him telling you to go home (I used a recording app on my phone with the phone in a holder at my waist.) Attend his bond hearing and ask for a condition of his bond being he cannot be around your mother, your mother's home, you or your home.

If your state has temporary domestic violence restraining orders, I would help your mother get one that restrains your BIL from living in the house or being anywhere near you or your mother. Call APS

I am also concerned that your mother isn't really safe in her own home unless the SIL is locked up in the local jail. The fact that your sister is allowing this behavior to go on means she has either already been abused and intimidated by the man she married or she is likely his partner in trying to either run your mother out of the home or intimidate and isolated her enough to gain control of her assets. Your sister has a right to make bad decisions for her own life, she does not have the right to expose your mother to abuse from her bad decisions.

You are concerned that women are not taken seriously. I suggest when anyone treats you that way you (1) ask for their name, (2) turn on a recording app, state you are talking with _____ about ____ and ask them to repeat their "response". Be sure you keep your tone very business like but with the attitude that you are documenting their response because you are planning to protest it.
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Who is your Mom's Durable Power of Attorney and Attorney for Health Care and Executor of your Mom's Will? If she has named someone who might not have her best interest in mind, then your Mom needs to change her POA so that the "correct, caring child" will be her D-POA.
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Sister is both DPOA and Health Care POA. Once we have a talk, I will ask if she feels burnout or otherwise disregard for our Mom’s well-being. It looks like her attitude is more jaded than if she were single. There is likely some triangulating going on to unhealthy levels. I will also ask Mom how she feels about the POA assignments. The trust was expensive so I hope she isn’t delaying changes due to financial concerns.
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What state do you live in?

I agree with the order of protection. You and mom both need it.

If your mom can’t do it and I can understand that, talk to an attorney about mom giving you POA so you can act for her.

Then have BIL evicted. It’s up to sister if she wants to move with him. Make it plain to sister that she gets him out or you will. Having him help take care of your mom is like having a rattlesnake for a babysitter.

This man is dangerous. He feels entitled. Some how he feels he has permission to do as he pleases.

I would be very surprised if he didnt have a criminal background.

Be careful ... but you can’t allow this to continue. It will only escalate.

I don’t think mom should move out. That’s what he wants.

I feel bad for your sister but she shouldn’t have brought this guy into mom’s home. Your mom will be doing your sister a favor to get him out.

What’s his back story? Do you know his family of origin? Has he been married before? I can’t believe your mom could have created this monster by any action of hers.

Please keep us informed.
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TheOtherDtr Jul 2018

Thank you for your expertise! Summary and update:

Above mentions are an accurate assessment, pointing out red flags. Taking them under advisement.
I feel badly for my sister also, which is why I help carrying a chunk of the load.

Sister had to discern and sort what happened that night after work and make fast decisions. If they asked me to take on a larger role, I would. I’m heartbroken for our Mom feeling she has to tip-toe around BIL who’s attacked others before.

For that and for his behavior a few days ago, he gave huge apologies to us. He’s realizing that the more I do, the less my sister, (his wife) has to do. He doesn’t care Mom’s time is growing short. She’s tired...

I’m willing to help in any way. Will be careful, watching to make sure things are in check. Thanks again to you, and to the others’ for helpful info and suggestions!!
Yes, where is your sister in this awful situation?

I believe I would have called 911 when he destroyed the property; he is abusive and dangerous and is creating a hostile living environment for your elderly, vulnerable mother.

Is sister being physically and psychologically abused as well?
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What type of twisted logic if any did he give for not wanting her to run her own sprinklers? He is clearly trying to run her out of her own house.

As far as her not wanting to change the trust due to the expense= It is going to be a whole lot more expensive if she doesn't change it soon. SIL will run her off and take every dime she has and she will end up in a medicare nursing home if he has his way.

He sounds like an unstable S.O.B.
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Concise and right to the point, 94YearOldMom.

OtherDaughter, have you reported these incidents to the police? If not, why not?
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My sister works 11a-8:30pm with a long commute. She feels pulled in opposite directions, and has been peacemaker in the past. However, he has managed to brainwash her, being divisive to the family. Sister has put him in line several times. I do not believe she realizes there is actual abuse happening to our Mom.
It is likely that he is hostile to sister, and she’s developed thick skin.

That doesn’t excuse the fact that our Mom is a vulnerable elder, a prisoner in her own home.

Yes, he’s a married guest. The house is in her name due to a trust. He may inherit sister’s 1/2 share if deceased.

This event happened between 12:15-2:15pm today. I had told him I was calling 911 if he didn’t let me through as I am helping our Mom, to which he laughed. I told him I was reporting him for Elder Abuse, to which he again laughed and continued with hostility, swearing, and intimidation. I wanted to find out her rights first, because in our area, there are not city police and women are not taken seriously. You are all correct in accurately assessing the situation.
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