My brother has POA for my mother and lives with her in her home. Can he keep me from staying with mom in her home too?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

my other brother also lives there, I am their sister and was told I could not live there because he likes to have the house as it has been and not to change as the both of them have lived there since birth (now they are in their 50's ) but mom wanted me there since she became ill. Can he disallow my stay there?

Expert Answers

Your brother has a POA from your mother and asserts that under that authority he can prevent you from staying in your mother's home. If you mother is now competent, she can simply revoke the POA, or declare that your brother does not have that authority under it. However, if your mother is not now competent, the legal situation becomes, in my opinion, murky.

You need to know the contents of the POA. I doubt if it gives your brother the authority he claims, but it's possible. However, I know of no method by which you can get a copy of the POA document, aside from a lawsuit against your brother

Your possible legal remedies are limited, and expensive. You would have to file a lawsuit against your brother, alleging that he was abusing his authority under the POA. Proving that would be a difficult matter.

POAs, specifically what are called "durable" powers of attorney, which last even if the principal becomes incompetent, are a relatively new legal device. From the many questions on possible POA abuse I have received from folks, there seem to be serious problems in many cases with how POAs are currently used. But there is no body of law or legal decisions that I know that give rights to other family members when one of them is suspected of POA abuse, aside from filing a lawsuit. Perhaps the threat of filing a lawsuit would encourage your brother to be reasonable. Or perhaps you could receive help from a lawyer or center which specializes in "elder abuse." [Aside from knowing that there are people who specialize in "elder abuse," I know nothing about that.] I wish I could provide you with a more helpful response.