Can I legally get Mom's boyfriend out of her life?

2 answers | Last updated: Nov 02, 2016
Janet51 asked...

What can I legally do to protect my mother, who has Alzheimer's and a 10 year younger boyfriend who has taken control of her assets? I have POA but so far been stopped from removing him from her life. She is still legally capable of making decisions but listens to her conman gambler alcoholic boyfriend.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Any advice you get or take must be tempered with a dose of uncomfortable reality: Unless your mother's boyfriend is truly acting fraudulently or abusively, it may not be possible to remove him from her life.

But your concern seems to be that he is bilking her out of her money. A bit of uncomfortable news here, too: Unless your mother can be shown to be legally incompetent to control her assets, she retains the legal right to do whatever he wants with them"”at least until your powers under your power of attorney kick in.

However, if your mother's Alzheimer's is clouding her ability to make meaningful decisions, and your power of attorney is the type that takes effect if still is deemed to be legally incapacitated, you then are legally responsible to manages her finances on behalf. There are some fine lines in determining capacity, but most POAs specify that a doctor or two must declare the principal lacks capacity.

"¨If you are not yet empowered to commandeer your mother's finances under the POA, but you still see signs of financial scamming, act quickly to prevent more from occurring. Because financial elder abuse is sadly on the rise, there are a growing number of organizations to which you can turn for local help.

"¢ Your state's Adult Protective Services agency may provide tips and intervention. Find it by searching with your state name and "adult protective services."

"¢ The National Center on Elder Abuse operates a confidential toll free hotline at 800-677-1116. It also maintains a comprehensive list of resources for each state at

"¢ The Eldercare Locator, at 800-677-1116, also directs callers to senior information and referral telephone lines in their communities.

"¢ And INFOLINK, at 800-394-2255, directs callers to the closest, most appropriate services for crime victims.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

I have been accused of being the gold digger. My boyfriend of almost 8 years (we've known each other for 35) was recently diagnosed with AZ. I have been helping him write his checks for his bills for years and have kept an eye on his money for him. His daughter recently decided I had stolen his pension (he doesn't have one) among other things. She took him to his bank and had her name put on ALL of his accts so they are jointly owned. He didn't even know he had done it. She doesn't work and is really bad with her own money. This has turned into a big mess for everyone and he is doing his best to sort it out but since we aren't married and there is no POA, I can't help just be careful when you accuse someone of such a terrible thing. Be sure you have your facts straight before you disrupt your Mom's relationship with her boyfriend. It can have devastating affects. But of course, if he is stealing or in anyway taking advantage of her disability, he has to be stopped.