Question: How do I get the right to control the wellbeing of my mom being the youngest daughter?
Dr. Amy: You not say so in your letter but I am assuming that your mother suffers from a degree of cognitive impairment and that you and your siblings disagree about the best to care for your mother. This can be an emotionally charged situation, as you all may have different feelings for your mother based on the nature of your relationship with her over the years.
If you can afford it, I encourage you to hire a geriatric care manager. He or she can assess your mom’s situation and facilitate a conversation with your siblings. Geriatric care managers know about health, psychology, and human development. They also have an excellent understanding of family dynamics and can help you come to a decision about the best way forward.
There are different ways you can gain control over your mom’s wellbeing, including Durable Power of Attorney and guardianship. Your being the youngest does not necessarily work against you when it comes to making decisions about your mom’s wellbeing. If your mom does not have a Durable Power of Attorney, a Probate Court will assess your mother’s situation and make a determination about who is best placed to assume the role of guardian. I see from your email that you are in Florida. What follows is a link to an article by a Florida lawyer explaining the difference between a Power of Attorney, Durable Power of Attorney, and Guardianship, which you may find useful. http://www.florida-probate-lawyer.com/probate/guardianship-and-power-of-attorney/
I am sure you are going through a really trying time right now. It’s not at all uncommon for emotions to run high in situations like yours. Try to be gentle with yourself and others as you navigate this challenge and keep in mind what you want for yourself, for your mom, and for your relationship with other family members. Good luck.
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