I need to strip my (former) sister of medical power of attorney, among other problems

I don’t have a sister, I have a thief that I happen to be related to. My mother is in the hospital, with double pneumonia. I don’t think she’ll actually end up in a condition where I might have to use her medical power of attorney, but if it happens, I would like to be prepared. My mother indicated to the hospital staff that I had medical power of attorney, However, it is documented that my sister has it in my mother’s living will.

The other problems relate to my mother’s good-heartedness in relation to my sister and her friends. The instances of what I would consider theft are too long for me to catalog here (they range from her taking money out of my mother’s account, to her buying cars on my mother’s credit card and beyond). I’ve seen my mother’s and her neighbor’s mail (credit card applications, insurance forms) in my sister’s possessions. And while rifling through her papers stored in my mother’s house, I’ve seen a conviction of my sister related to forgery.

If that isn’t enough, I received a call from a friend of my sister who formerly was being sheltered at my mother’s house saying they had other documents related to my sister transferring my mother’s business to her name, and taking a loan out on a car which may or may not be my mother’s car. She’s offered to turn these documents over to me, but I don’t trust her enough to believe that the meeting couldn’t end up to be a bad end for me.

My sister was told to find a new place to live weeks ago, and we changed the locks while she was out over the weekend. While rifling though her possessions to find any remaining documents related to my mother’s finances, we found 2 meth pipes and 2 syringes which have been disposed of by the last remaining person my sister brought into the house, who is currently still in the house. I’d like to rid my mother of this last person, and protect my mother from my sister and her friends. My current plan to get the documents from the friend who has them; is to have them meet me in a very public place, and have them hand them over. I understand any legal advice will have to be couched in disclaimers, at best (this is TX, btw). But, do you have any advice on how to protect my mother from my former sister and her friends? Any advice to be merciful or compassionate to my sister will be considered with the appropriate weight, so save the bytes.

(I understand that I am seeking advice that may be beyond what is allowed in this forum. If the mods see that it is out of bounds, feel free to move it to the pit. I am sorry for any incoherence in my post, I am a bit emotional at the moment.)

Moved from GQ to IMHO.

samclem Moderator

My advice is to get an attorney, and take him/her to the hospital to talk with your mother. Now.
Don’t wait on this step. Just do it, and hopefully, it will end up protecting your mother, and her assets.

You can’t remove your sister as POA on your mother’s matters, only your mother can.

Exactly. Omar Little is correct. That’s why you need to get an attorney to talk to your mother as soon as you can. The attorney can then make sure that your mother is of sound mind, and will take the necessary steps to change her living will/POA orders/etc., and get things straightened out. She needs to be the one that talks to the attorney about it. You’ll probably be asked to leave the room while the attorney talks with her, to make sure she’s doing this of her own accord, and not being coerced into it by anyone else.

Lawyer up ASAP, not only because you will need one to change your mother’s legal documents.

I’m getting the impression that your shitster is the apple of your mother’s eye (if she’s letting shitster’s druggie friends live at the house and rob her blind). If you try to approach her on your own she might try to blow it off as misunderstanding on your part or shitster doesn’t mean any harm, she just needs a little help.

A lawyer will help you get all your facts and evidence straight, and if nothing else be a neutral third party who can leave the family baggage out of it.

Yeah, you need a lawyer yesterday. For the POA, for those legal documents that a friend has, and probably even for eviction of your sister’s friend. Some places give even couch crashers a fair number of rights and make you go through proper legal proceedings to evict them.

Normally I’m all about DIY legal stuff, but this one really does need a lawyer.

You’re going to have to pull together a lot of info, and get a non-involved party (the lawyer) to convince mom that letting someone else be in charge will be the best for all concerned.

You may want to consider trying the angle of “when mom goes, this way someone else will be able to care for sister shit in the way that she needs to be cared for.” I know this may not be what you’re actually after, but if that’s what it takes to get sister out of control, something like a trust or stipend in her name may be a good in-between point where mom feels like she’s not casting anyone out.

Lawyer lawyer lawyer… and get as much paper documentation as you can regarding sister’s criminal record, her drug use, and her activities.

To reiterate: get a lawyer. The reasons we are all suggesting this:
(1) only your mother can change her POA/will.
(2) the issues extend beyond mere medical and legal power of attorney but touch upon fraud and abuse.
(3) a comprehensive plan to protect your mother in her sunset years is best done wholesale, rather than you plugging holes as they come up.
(4) there is a chance that your mother is not now or will soon be incompetent to change documents, wills, etc.; a lawyer can work around that (i.e., by asking the court to appoint a guardian).

You want a lawyer who specializes in elder law; those are lawyers who are experienced both in spotting the issues relating to your sister’s abuse of your mother, and who can put together a plan to protect her. You can start by contacting the lawyer who drew up your mother’s will and powers of attorney to find out if that lawyer either has the appropriate experience or knows someone who does.

Protecting your mother has been pretty well covered here already (and I agree - you need a lawyer, and you need to bring the lawyer to your mom in hospital), but do you need some protection for yourself? Have you taken steps to protect yourself legally, financially, and physically from the criminal you’re related to?

When your mom gets out of the hospital, is there a chance that she’ll just let your sister back into her life, undoing all the work you’ve done? Have you talked to the police at all in all this? Your sister is involved in some heavy-duty crimes, as far as I can tell (and, unfortunately, you might also have crossed the line if you evicted your sister in a non-legal fashion).

I also second getting the druggie out of your mom’s house as soon as possible - that’s just asking for trouble, having him there.