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Leon, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 44867
Experience:  BEc Dip Ed, Dip Law (SAB) MTax (UNSW)
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My sister has power of attorney and guardianship powers

Customer Question

my sister has power of attorney and guardianship powers for my mother. she recently placed her in a home an sold up or dispersed her belongings. my mother had very little participation in this, including what clothes, personal possesions she took with her. my sister wont allow her to have her photos etc with her citing privacy issues although my mother would love to have them. her room is fairly devoid of such things although the rest of the family have tried to compensate. if we take or give our mother anything she hides it if our sister is coming to visit. most of us live within twenty minutes drive while my sister lives 3 hours away. my sister has all her cards, bank access card, medicare card, pension card etc and wont allow my mother to have them. she also told us that we were not allowed to seek medical assistance if mum said she felt she needed it. If we suggest helping her she says my sister would not like it and gets really agitated. her blood pressure goes through the roof every time my sister visits. the rest of us are not allowed to visit if she is up. we feel that our mother is frightened of our sister. until 3 years ago my brother and I had power of attorney and there was never a problem but when my husband became very sick my sister came in and told my mother that she would take over and changed everything without my knowing. my mother and I had had a good working relationship for 27 years previous to that. I didn't mind someone helping but whereas I never made a decision for my mother, just gave her the facts so she could decide, my sister just makes all the decisions. my mother lets her because it is easier than "upsetting" her. My mother is 94 but has all her wits about her. My sister also is reluctant to let her spend money on clothes and things and my mother needed a new pair of shoes which she refused to take her to get for four months in case it was money wasted if she died the next week. the same with her glasses and hearing aids. I feel that this is elder abuse or at the least overstepping her powers. the problem is that while the family know these things the nursing home doesn't. they have been told that they must only talk to my sister and no one else. one of my brothers also has power of attorney but he is content to let my sister do everything and doesn't participate at all he is never consulted in any decision making. what can I do to help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good AfternoonMy name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advice but a guide to assist you.Does your mother suffer form any dementia? Can she still make her own decisions? Was the POA and guardianship granted by your mum or a court?Are you in the same area as your mum and your sister?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my mother does not suffer any form of dementia. she is well and truly capable of forming her own decisions. the poa was put in place as a precaution in case she became incapable in the future because of illness or other situation. it was changed from myself and my youngest brother to my sister and another brother when my husband became ill. he has dementia, cancer and cardiomyopathy and became ill very quickly and had to be placed in high care. it was during a six week period while this was happening that my sister told my mother it was too much for me to look after her affairs and my mother agreed. at no time was I consulted and it was all presented afterward as already done. I agree at the time I wasn't in a position to do much. the brother who had poa with me was also not consulted. My sister also changed the financial planner and solicitor at that time. that was October 2013. I live near my mother in the North of the state. My sister lives in the south.*****away. my other sister likewise is near my mother as is my younger brother. my mother and I are very close and I looked after her affairs since the death of my father by her request (for 27 years prior to this)and with the support of her solicitor who has now been changed. we got on really well. my mother has told me that her will has had to be changed and that it isn't how she wants it but she "has to go along with my sister. I don't care about that apart from the fact that its not as she wishes. my parents have given me a lot of love and support throughout my life as with all of us. my mums well being is very important.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good EveningAre you prepared to become the attorney?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
my sister had a child who committed suicide about 18 months ago aged 35, and since then has been understandably under a lot of pressure. she has not grieved well and just ignores his death. this is another reason why my mother tells us she has to do aas my sister says because mum is afraid of what she might do otherwise. I wont call as my finances are limited
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
But are you prepared to act as your mums attorney?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am always prepared to help her in any way. yes I am . my sister however wont allow any interference from any family member, not even my mother.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
mum is frightened of her.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I fear that any confrontation may kill my mother. my sister always makes her suffer if we do anything she disapproves of
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good EveningIf your mum is to scared to do anything and you are prepared to step in then make an application with the Guardianship and Administration board and have your sister removed. You would give evidence about your mums fears and she will then have to confirm them. Also evidence about her not managing your mums finances well. It is a matter where she is being allowed to do what she wants and your mum suffers and unless you step in and have the Tribunal take her off or your mum revoked the right she will continue
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you. I would have support from my brother and another sister to do this.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.
Good EveningThis is what you have to do All the best and good luckYou are very welcome and thank you for using my services. If I have missed anything, or you have any further questions please let me know If there is anything else in the future please do not hesitate to ask. Please do not forget to leave positive feedback. RegardsLeon