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Desperate Daughter

CD Knowles 7 months ago

Dear Knowles,

My 85 year-old befuddled and widowed father has fallen in love with a 32 year-old woman (I am 50). He lives on his own in a Manhattan apartment filled with trash and old newspapers and the woman, Raquel, is supposed to be his assistant. When I asked him about her, he said she does Thai massage, so that should give you an idea. She has taken complete control over his life — including his phone and computer, so that it’s hard to reach him. She’s the one who pays his bills and does his banking. There’s nothing of value in the apartment, but my father is worth quite a bit of money and Raquel is well aware of that. When I see my father, which is not very often (I live in another state), Raquel is always there. He’s aging poorly, and isn’t always sure of who I am. And he’s become quite nasty to me, never the case in the past. Recently I discovered that Raquel has been granted power of attorney. I am his only child and feel helpless. There’s no one I know who can talk sense to him and he won’t listen to me. My fear is that she will talk him into writing another will with herself as the sole beneficiary. I also worry about his safety with her around. Can you please advise me what to do? I think she’s going to talk him into marrying her, and even if she doesn’t, she will certainly attempt to get her hands on his money.

Thanks in advance,

Desperate Daughter   

desperate daughter

Dear Desperate Daughter,

My best advice is for you to talk to a good estate lawyer who can help you out. It’s hard to prove someone incompetent, but you will have to find a way to do that, which means attempting to gain guardianship over your father and setting up a psychological evaluation. But first you will have to prove that Raquel is an interloper and remove her power of attorney privileges. This will not be easy, but I counsel you to really go to battle for your father who’s being swindled. It’s worth it. Caregivers should not be allowed to swindle their clients, but it happens all the time. It is up to the children of elderly parents to make sure they’re okay.

I wish you the best,

CD Knowles




Dear Mom of an Out of Control Daughter,

Seems to me you spend more time working than with your kid. How can you not know what’s going on in your daughter’s life? And where’s her dad? You need to pull yourself together and get your priorities straight. Don’t you have someone sensible to talk to — a friend, coworker, relative, minister? If not, find one. Best, 

Gary T, Cleveland, OH


Dear Mom of an Out of Control Daughter,

I feel for you. Fourteen is a terrible age and for a single mom it must be the pits. I had a difficult daughter. I took her to a shrink and then my husband and I decided to send her to a therapeutic boarding school and that totally turned her around. She spent two years there and when she came home she was as sweet and willing as she could be. If you can afford it, that’s the route I’d take. I wish you well. 

Joyce P, Greenwich, CT


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Disclaimer: CD Knowles is not a doctor or psychotherapist. Any opinions expressed on Knowles Knows are just that — opinions.