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Need advise on elder care abuse and custody.

Alvin, TX |

My elderly mom and I live in Milwaukee, Wi. I let my mom visit with my siblings who reside in Texas and now my sisters will not return mom to her home here with me. She has lived with me for many years. Mom has Alzheimer's and sisters will not let me speak with her on the telephone any longer. I have her health care POA. Does the health care POA carry over to Texas? Mom does not want to live in Texas because of the heat. I have taken her to the Hispanic Center here in Milwaukee for her care and have the nurses here to back me up as to that she is cared for well. Is there something I could do to make my siblings give let my mother return here to her home?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's situation. It must be very hard for her and for you!

    One avenue to pursue would be Adult Protective Services. If your mother has lots of evidence (driver's license, receiving Social Security checks, bank account etc.) of being a resident of Wisconsin, you could make the argument that your mother's home is in Texas.

    A power of attorney executed in one state should be valid in another state.

    This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit www.justinelderlaw.com.


  2. There likely is little or nothing you can do unless you retain counsel. With counsel you may be able to use the health care POA or you might need to apply for guardianship. The issues are very complex and technical and may involve interstate choice of law and jurisdiction. Consult a highly experienced elder law attorney ASAP.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


  3. It sounds like your only recourse is to petition the court for guardianship/conservatorship of your mother. What your sisters are doing is called "granny nappy" and is common enough to be addressed by statute in many states. I do not practice in Texas, but it is my understanding that the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act was recently or is being adopted by Texas. That should help in establishing that Wisconsin is the appropriate state for the guardianship, but if your mother is in Texas, that is where I would start out by visiting with an attorney from there.


  4. Let me add a few things to the good answers you received. I agree this sounds like a "granny nabbing." Important thing, your mother must be forceful and demand to be sent home. If not, she can call the police or APS and report, herself, that she is being held without her consent.
    For you to assert those position on her behalf, you will need to be a guardian. Unfortunately, what your sisters are doing is forcing you to begin guardianship here which will be inconvenient for you. The medical power of attorney does not give you the right to determine where your Mom lives; thus, the police can't rely on it and force your sisters to let your Mom depart with you.

    There is no legal relationship created or implied by the exchange of message on this website. All statements are not to be construed as legal advice but as general guidance. In all cases, an attorney should be retained to review the full circumstances and deliver advice consistent with the information learned.

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