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Your Mother Wants To Come Home From An ALF, But Your Nephew Has POA. What To Do?

When dealing with a situation where your nephew for example has Power of Attorney (POA) and your mother wants to come home, you need to understand the specifics of the POA and explore your options legally and practically.


First, let’s understand POA authority

1. Type of POA: Determine the type of Power of Attorney your nephew holds:

    • Durable Power of Attorney: Generally allows the agent to make decisions even if the principal becomes incapacitated.
    • Healthcare Power of Attorney: Specifically covers medical and healthcare-related decisions.
    • General Power of Attorney: Broad authority over financial and legal matters.


2. Scope of POA: Review the document to understand the scope of the authority granted. Some POAs may have limitations or specific instructions about certain decisions.


Steps to Consider

1. Communication: Open a dialogue with your nephew. Express your mother’s wishes and discuss possible concerns or reasons behind her decisions. Effective communication might resolve the issue without further legal action.


2. Legal Review: Consult with an elder law attorney to review the POA document and advise on your rights and options. The attorney can help ensure your mother’s wishes are respected and provide guidance on legal steps.


3. Revocation of POA: If your mother is still mentally competent, she has the right to revoke the POA. This involves:

    • Creating a written revocation.
    • Notifying your niece and any relevant institutions or individuals of the revocation.
    • Possibly creating a new POA if desired, naming a different agent.


4. Guardianship/Conservatorship: If your mother is not competent to revoke the POA, you may need to petition the court for guardianship or conservatorship. This legal process would allow you to make decisions on her behalf if the court finds it in her best interest.

5. Mediation: Consider mediation as an alternative to legal battles. A neutral third party can help facilitate a resolution that honors your mother’s wishes and addresses the family’s concerns.


Legal Actions (if needed)

  1. File a Complaint: If you believe your nephew is not acting in your mother’s best interests, you can file a complaint with the relevant authorities or seek legal intervention.
  2. Court Intervention: As a last resort, you can seek a court order to challenge the POA or your nephew’s decisions. This might involve proving that your niece is not acting in your mother’s best interests or that her decisions are harmful.



  • Elder Law Attorneys: They specialize in issues affecting older adults, including POA and guardianship.
  • Local Agencies: Agencies on Aging or Adult Protective Services can offer guidance and support.
  • Support Groups: Joining support groups for families dealing with elder care issues can provide valuable advice and emotional support.


It’s crucial to act in the best interest of your mother (priority #1) while respecting her autonomy and legal rights. Consulting with professionals can help navigate this complex situation effectively.

Also keep in mind that keeping things as civil and professional as possible with other family members in this case your nephew, is priority #2.

Claudio Alegre

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