What to do if my elderly sick mother is being taken advantage of by a man she let stay at her home while he was getting back on his feet?

He has borrowed money, stolen money and used her for financial gain. He is storing his boat in her yard while he is out of state for 6 weeks. He is an alcoholic and has drug addiction issues. I have asked him to leave and remove his possessions from her property but he continues to call and harass her. She is scared and just wants him to leave her alone but she is afraid to do anything and she wont let me act (she does not want to be mean to him). I have her durable power of attorney that covers everything except health decisions.

Asked on October 25, 2013 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If you have a durable POA over her property (e.g. her home), you would have the right to ask him to leave and to file the appropriate action (e.g. ejectment) if he does not; or if he has already left, you can warn him to not come back and file trespassing charges if he does--though you can only do so as long as your mother does not 1) retract, void, etc. the POA; or 2) give him permission again to come onto her property or stay there. That's because while you can act instead or in lieu of your mother, you cannot override her express wishes, and so she can let him onto her property.

You can't do anything about her voluntarily giving money to him. If he steals anything, you could report that to the police. Again, though, if your mother will not back you up--i.e. if she tells the police, if they respond, that she let him have the money or belongings--nothing will be done. As long as your mother is mentally competent and you are not her guardian, there are limits as to what you can do without her cooperation.

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