My father-in-law died in January at the age of 90. His girlfriend of 13 years was living with him in Attleboro for the past three years, and our family has always treated her as his "common law" wife. Her brother, from Canada, came down while we were in Florida arranging for his internment and somehow got a power of attorney from Vicky. He proceeded to sell her car, which also belonged to my father, take 87,000 out of her bank account and is not in Florida trying to sell her condo. He had her moved to a smaller room in the assisted living case, which is being paid by insurance anyway. We've been told by him and by the assisted care facility that we are not family and have no right to know anything. Vicky wants to move back to Florida, and doesn't understand what her brother is doing.
Estate Planning Attorney
Report the brother for financial abuse of an elderly person (local social services should be able to help you). A guardian ad litem will likely be appointed then to represent Vicky and to obtain restitution from the brother. It does not matter if he has a power of attorney if he is abusing it. This is a clear situation where siccing the authorities on him has the result you want (and surprisingly quickly) AND means you don't have to have your own attorney.
In Illinois, I called the Southwest Suburban Center for Seniors and within days the abuser was removed from contact with the elderly person, and court proceedings were begun to declare her disabled.
Of course, you may wish to consult with Massachusetts counsel.
The usual disclaimers apply. I am not your lawyer and you are not my client.
Janet Rae Montgomery
Daluga & Boland, LLC
200 West Adams, Suite 2500
Chicago, Illinois 60606
Elder Law Attorney
Unfortunately, our local elder protective services agencies are strapped and overworked.
Whether they will involve themselves will depend on whether Vicky is competent. If she is, then they will likely direct her to hire an attorney. A good local elder law attorney will help her draw up a new power of attorney and work with her to get back her assets. Unfortunately, Vicky may need to file suit or a police report to get her assets back.
If Vicky is not competent to manage her finances, and if you want to be directly involved in her care and geting the money back, you need to see an elder law attorney who also practices guardianship and conservatorship. If Vicky will allow it, have her doctor draw up the medical certificate you will need to get into court ASAP.
Please feel free to call me at 781-433-866 if you would like to discuss this problem in more detail.