Mom's boyfriend is abusing his power of attorney. How do I get him removed?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 18, 2016
Concerned4mother asked...

My mother had her boyfriend declared Medical Power of Attorney in 2008. On May 25th of this year she suffered a stroke and is incapacitated. However, her boyfriend is not acting in her best interest and has threatened to place her in a long-term nursing home far from us unless we pay his bills. I doubt this is what my mother intended when she had the papers drawn up. How do I get his Power of Attorney revoked? He has already caused her one injury since her stroke, she has since suffered a second stroke and is paralyzed on her left side.

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.

You may have a few issues to deal with on your mother's behalf.

The first and most pressing is one you mentioned in passing. If you suspect that her boyfriend is actually to blame for her injury"”and you have good and specific evidence of that"”he may be guilty of elder abuse. Your first concern will be to keep her safe from more harm. Consider contacting the local Area Agency on Aging, which you can find at A representative there should be willing to talk with you, help untangle whether true abuse has occurred, and refer you to local agencies and authorities for more help.

Second, you can take action to have the power of attorney revoked. But be forewarned that this will require you to have good evidence that the boyfriend is not acting in your mother's best interest. Contact the local probate court to find out the specifics of procedures it requires to revoke the document. If your mother named a back-up or successor to serve as agent in her power of attorney, you might also check into whether that person is ready and willing to take over the responsibility.

And finally, there is the most complicated and sensitive issue of where and how your mother will live if this boyfriend is no longer your mother's caretaker"”the ultimate result for which you may be lobbying.

Think of possible alternatives and try to talk over the situation with your mother in private. Listen to her views calmly and completely, without being accusatory. If it turns out that the boyfriend has not actually been abusive and the two stay together, you will want to salvage some way to stay involved in your mother's life without creating more angst.