Q: Brother and Mother live in Allegheny County, and I am in Wheeling. Mother signed a General Durable Power of Attorney over to my brother. Mother was in an Independent Living Facility, but after a fall, was admitted to in-patient rehab facility. She is no longer there and brother will not tell me where she is. He said she does not want to see me, which is untrue. I discovered his daughter has been added to the title on my mother’s house, for the consideration sum of $10. I believe she is being exploited and coerced. We requested a welfare check, but with being out of state, Pittsburgh PD required contact from our local police, and a missing persons report was filed. Unfortunately, my brother was there when the police arrived and my Mother could not speak freely. How can I find out where she is?
A: If you believe mother is being financially exploited by your brother and niece, as a first step, you can call the county Department of Aging and see if they will do a wellness visit to assess the situation. If you truly believe you are better suited as a caretaker of your mother, you can hire an Allegheny County attorney to file for a Guardianship, which will result in the court making a determination as to who, between you and your brother, would be your mother’s guardian. However, if the Department of Aging cannot help the situation, the Guardianship may be your only option as you will probably keep running into roadblocks with your brother. I would also consult with an Allegheny County attorney.