Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

Using a Power of Attorney to Kick Kids out of the House

We've noted before that, while Reddit's legal advice section was a decent source of humor, it's not such a great source of legal advice. So when we saw one humorous looking post, we couldn't resist taking a look at the ensuing legal advice.

"[M]y mom has power of attorney for me (im in my mid twenties) [sic] and now because I haven't cleaned my room I'm on the verge of being kicked out of the house, sent to a group home, and having my phone turned off," wrote one user. "She locks the refrigerator and freezers up because 'she can't trust me to not eat everything in the house.'" So what did the legal experts on Reddit have to say?

Power of Attorney

"So revoke it," begins the first response. "You're an adult. You don't have to listen to your mom. You can, in fact, get a job and support yourself." While that last part is a tad harsh, the first part is pretty true. The "principal," or subject of a power of attorney can revoke it at any time. There might just be one catch, though, given that the post ends by adding: "I can't drive, I have mild autism, and I'm unemployed." Powers of attorney can be based on a disability and the "agent" or person acting on behalf of the principal could argue that autism, though mild, is enough to warrant having an agent or guardian.

Group Home

"She can't send you a group home at that age. You need to move the hell out." Again, advice that was probably better left without the profane addendum. And probably true. While there are group homes for minors in the foster care system and for those dealing with developmental disorders, they generally do not serve involuntary confinement for adults who can demonstrate their self sufficiency.

Cleaning Up

If you thought the legal section of Reddit was for legal advice only, you're sorely mistaken. "Clean your room," advises one user. In all likelihood, the dispute here goes far beyond a tidy living space. So while we should all aspire to keep our bedrooms neat, this person might need a little more help.

Social Security Disability Insurance

"Have you looked into SSDI?" asked another user. "This might give you some money that would give you some more independence." Also not bad advice. While children with autism are not eligible for Social Security disability insurance, an adult over the age of 22 can be, as long as he or she is disabled.

The person asking for advice responds that they were denied SSDI and were supposed to appeal, prompting some of the best advice on the thread: "Most firms don't take SSDI cases until you have a denial. Basically, 99% of cases are denied as a matter of course. I would suggest contacting an attorney."

There you have it folks -- good legal advice from the good people on Reddit.

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