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How to protect my mother

Discussion in 'Other Family Law Matters' started by Dawn Morris, Mar 11, 2022.

  1. Dawn Morris

    Dawn Morris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    South Carolina
    My mother was widowed a couple of years ago. She moved from South Carolina to Houston TX to be near me and my family. But she does not like the city life and is planning to move back to South Carolina in a couple of weeks. She will be near her best Freind who is recently widowed as well. She just bought a nice double wide trailer. ( no property) and has a fairly new car. She lives off SS and a small annuity. I help out as well. My concern. My step sisters will also be near her. I don’t really like them. My mother married their father when I was in college. but I thought it might be good until I found out yesterday they tried to get my mother to sign a Power of attorney with out talking to me. And they told her she had to sign it immediately (that day) for some made up reason. I was livid and luckily mom is had enough presence of mind to bring it to me. Mom mind is still ok. She is showing some signs of age. and she says she’s not ready to sign a POA to anyone. And I respect that. But I am afraid that in a moment of confusion at some point in the future they will get her to sign a POA. What is the best way to protect her trailer and car. Can I put a lien on them to prevent them from being sold out from under her. I will talk to her weekly if not more often. And want to try to see her every few months. But I am married and own a small business and have children in high school. My life is busy. I am just afraid they will take advantage of her before I can stop them.
    Thanks
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    How do you propose attempting to ATTACH things you don't own?

    You can always petition the county court where she'll reside in an attempt to become her conservator (guardian).

    Nomination of Conservatorship | Conservator in Texas

    https://www.hhs.texas.gov/sites/def...ardianship/texas-guide-adult-guardianship.pdf

    Topic - Conservatorship



    The Republic of Texas has several agencies to protect our seniors.

    I suggest you reach out to those agencies and see what help can be offered to your mother.

    Seniors and the Elderly | Office of the Attorney General


    Programs for Seniors & Aging | Texas Health and Human Services

    For Seniors | Texas State Securities Board

    How Seniors Can Protect Themselves from Fraud | Texas State Securities Board

    DFPS - Texas Adult Protective Services (APS)

    Aging | Texas Health and Human Services

    Disability Resources In Your State - Olmstead Rights

    Senior Service and Assistance Programs in Texas | Elder Options of Texas
     
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  3. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but why would they talk with you? It's legally none of your business. Also, what was the scope of the POA?

    As long as she says no, this isn't an issue. She is, of course, free to disassociate from her former stepchildren if that's what she wants. If, at some point, your mother becomes unable to care for her own interests, then one of you may need to move or she may need to look into assisted living.

    You cannot do any such thing. She could give you a lien (or liens) if she wants.
     
  4. Dawn Morris

    Dawn Morris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    She is their step mother and my natural mother. Why would it be none of my business if my step sisters try to have my mother sign a full power of attorney. I am not a lawyer but from what I saw it would have given them the right to act completely on my mothers behalf. She hasn’t even moved back to South Carolina yet and they are already try to pressure her to sign this. So no I don’t trust them. But I am not in a position to move to South Carolina with mother. she misses her life there and I can’t and wouldn’t stop her. But I truely believe they will try sometime. Why on earth would they pressure to have there step mother sign a fully power of attorney within days of finding out she was moving back to South Carolina alone. And it was a hard sell to try to get her to sign it. And the reason they gave was a lie. Something about needing it to set up bank accounts for her. Which is bogus. I was hoping for advice to legally protect her from being taken advantage of before it actually happens. Too many scumbags take advantage of the elderly. And then it’s to late. Unfortunately my mother married the father of two of them. And the point at which I eventually find out she is no longer capable of making sound decisions for herself may be when I find out they have convinced her to sign a POA and taken advantage of her.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2022
  5. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    How about you work TOGETHER, rather than assuming that your stepsiblings are scumbags? Would having a joint POA be something you'd consider?

    Finally... once a week?! You're only willing to commit to calling your mom once a week? Because you're married and busy with you teenage kids. Is your spouse disabled? Are your children special needs? What sort of EXAMPLE are you being for your children?
     
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  6. Dawn Morris

    Dawn Morris Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Really. HOW about some actual helpful legal advise here.

    First they are Scumbags. I have known them for years

    Second if I had any doubt. Calling my mother before she has even moved over there. Telling her they have Emailed her a simple document that is actually a power of attorney. Telling her to print it out and sign it and put it in the mail by 5 pm that day. And since it was no big deal there was no reason to bother my at work before doing it. That’s the behavior of a scumbag.

    Third. Two people, who go months without calling her, try to get there step mother to sign a POA within days of finding out she will be moving near them and the thing you think is unreasonable is that I said I will call my mom at least once a week. I also text her repeatedly during the week. Does that make it acceptable to you.

    My mother doesn’t want a POA right now with anyone. My concern is that the MINUTE they think they can get her to sign a POA, or trick her into signing one, they will. I just want to understand how to prevent them from being able to do much damage before I can get it reversed or revoked or whatever is the appropriate responce.
     
  7. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    There is nothing YOU can do. Your Mother can consult with an attorney to protect her interests.
    No one can "force" your Mother to sign anything. If her stepchildren approach her with a POA she should tell them "no". If she is not competent to handle her affairs, including setting boundaries with stepchildren, then perhaps she should not move back home.
     
  8. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    Then perhaps you need to move to SC yourself.

    There is a potentially valid reason that they wanted her to print and sign the same day: there might have been the date on the document.

    You could preemptively get a POA yourself. Of course, that doesn't prevent your stepsiblings from having your mom remove you and replaced by themselves. Therefore, the best way to prevent this is to relocate yourself to SC and be more active in your mother's life. You also need to make sure that you have the correct authorizations to have access to her medical info and make medical decisions, should she become unable to do so, and make sure that the most current info is on file with her health care providers. Consult an estate lawyer in SC.

    If you are unwilling to relocate, then you either have to learn to get along with your step-siblings, or find someone in SC who will keep an eye on things for you. Your mother's friend, the recent widow, could be such a person. In any case, your step siblings are not going to get much money out of your mom, because frankly she doesn't have much money. People's definition of "signs of age" vary. There are many people who are fine until a sudden event renders them... not fine. When they're "not fine" is not the time to address this.
     
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  9. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    It's more her business as her daughter than it is the other two who were stepchildren.
     
  10. leslie82

    leslie82 Well-Known Member

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    If you want actual legal advice you have to hire a lawyer. There's a disclaimer at the bottom of the page on this site you should read too.

    You can choose to ignore comments people make that don't seem helpful as well.

    I get it - my stepsiblings are scum but I'm pretty sure if their mom died before my dad, they wouldn't try to scam him. He doesn't have anything to scam for though. I think if their mom goes first they'll just disappear (hopefully) from his life.
     
  11. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I want to emphasize that it is legally none of your business. You obviously and reasonably are concerned about your mother. However, in the absence of a conservatorship or adult guardianship, you have no legal right or standing regarding how she handles her personal finances, whom she chooses to associate with, etc.

    You can't prevent stuff like this in advance based solely on suspicions. Your mother is an adult and gets to make her own decisions. If she chooses to give a POA to her former stepdaughters, that's a decision she is legally entitled to make. As I wrote previously, if, at some point, your mother becomes unable to care for her own interests, then you may need to move or she may need to look into assisted living.

    At which point, the police and/or elder abuse protection authorities can take action. We don't arrest potential criminals based on suspicions that they might commit crimes. All you can do at this point is discuss your concerns with your mother.
     

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