Can my stepfather keep us from seeing Mom and getting her will?

6 answers | Last updated: Oct 26, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother fell twice and now has early Alzheimers. The doctors are putting her in a home to be rehabilitated. Her husband is 84 and not in the best of health. He is the meanest man I've every known. We were we not able to go see Mom at home before all this happened. He had run us all off. My mother has six children alive and we are concern about her. She has a will leaving me as her excecutor, but if I can not go to the house to get it, I won't be able to take care of it. My brothers and I only want the pictures of our past my mom has in the event she passes. Dear God I don't want her too, I miss going to see her. The only contact her husband would allow us was talking on the phone. He never let us know she had fallen, we found out own our own. Please let me know if I have any recourse in this matter.

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.

In a weird way, your mother's fall might have offered you an opportunity. Now that she's safely ensconced in a facility while mending, her husband no longer controls who comes to see her and when. So you and your brothers may now be able to reestablish some relationship with her, even if she sometimes may seem addled or forgetful.

If you anticipate problems or a potential run-in with your mother's husband over this, you might contact the facility first to explain your situation. The patient representative, ombudsman, or facility administrator may be able to help with a solution, such as scheduled visits so that you can all avoid the stress of being in the room at the same time.

And one of these people, or potentially a family mediator, may be helpful in finding solutions that would allow you and your siblings to maintain a relationship with your mother if and when she is able to go back home again.

The matter of your mother's will is on a slightly different footing. If your mother is able to comprehend your dilemma, she may also be willing to intercede"”and either direct her husband to turn over the document, mail it to you, or have someone else do the mailing. If none of these options seem viable, find out whether your mother had a lawyer help draft her will"”and consider contacting him or her.

There is a possibility the attorney would not relinquish the will until your mother's death, but at least you could live with the peace of mind that you will have access to the document when needed.

Community Answers

Santamarie50 answered...

Thank you. I found out today she fell again and none of the children's name is on the paper in order for us to find out how she is doing. The person who answered the phone was good enough to give us the information on her condition. There are people that understand how important it is for a mother to see her children. I don't understand why her husband has got so mean, maybe it's his age. Thank you again. Sandi

Ryannmcgrath answered...

That is horrible and I am so sorry for your situation.. The man doesnt just sound mean, he sounds nuts..I would make sure she is falling on her own..Making a call to Social Services wouldnt be a bad idea..Maybe someone can find out exactly what is happening with your Mother..There is a reason this man is hell bent on keeping you all away.. They will eventually allow your Mother back home once she is taken care of..So while she is in there care, I would call and report something fishy.. It cant hurt to try.. Good Luck!

Santamarie50 answered...

I've already talked to Social Services and they feel she fell on her own. My two brothers and a sister went to see her yesterday and said she is doing alot better. Social Services told me with the situation I was better off loving her from afar. What a piece of junk. Thanks Sandi

Ryannmcgrath answered...

Sandi, That is nuts, who says to love someone from "Afar"? I am so sorry for your situation, it must be so difficult for you all.. I do wish I were a Lawyer, I would come back ya's for free!!

A fellow caregiver answered...

My family and I are in a very similar situation unfortunately my mothers Alzheimer's is very bad and she cannot speak or walk. It has been a shock to her 4 children to find out that we do not have any rights at all. Social services along with many other services does nothing at all to help. She is now in rehab with 4 bedsores down to the bone which she got while in her husbands care. A horribly miserable man (her husband) can do whatever he likes and we have to watch our mother suffer til the end. Heartbreaking