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Can one sibling that has power of attorney take over a parents property (house and land) and tell the other siblings that there

Edgewood, MD |

is nothing you can do, I have power of attorney? Three of the Five siblings don't have the income to hire a lawyer and feel they have been take advantage of. There has been no exchange of money.

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Posted

This sibling as the holder of the POA is a to guard and protect the assets for the maker of the POA, not to take over the property. His conduct is a complete breach of his fiduciary duties. This type of behavior is grounds for his immediate removal. You need to quickly and immediately retain an estates attorney to protect these assets and to have him immediately removed as a power holder. The two out of five that can afford to do so must split the cost and get moving before assets are lost, stolen and squandered. Do not wait another day to get protection. Do it NOW!

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Posted

Your question is a bit vague. The POA holder must act on the wishes of the grantor (the parents). And the POA holder should not act in their own interests.

So, if it is your parents wishes to exclude the siblings, the POA acts properly to exclude you.

Also, if your parents are alive, and the land and house are in their names, what rights do you think you have, anyway?

Perhaps the siblings can pool their money and hire a few hours of a local attorney's time to investigate this, and give you a clearer answers.

Good luck.

Posted

Your question does not give any information about whether the sibling who holds the power of attorney has done anything wrong or self-serving with mom's money or assets. If she has not, then I see no reason to disturb or object to mom's choice of attorney-in-fact (Power of Attorney). If, however, you learn that the attorney-in-fact has mis-used mom's money, accounts, or assets, or re-titled real property to herself or someone other than your mom, you may wish to report this wrong-doing to the state's attorney's office in your county, as this would be criminal wrongdoing, under Maryland's statutes that prohibit financial elder abuse, and the state may wish to prosecute that as a crime. Hope this helps!

Posted

Under Maryland law, an attorney-in-fact (the agent acting pursuant to the power of attorney) has full authority to do everything the Grantor of the power (the person signing the power of attorney) could do if they were present. Unless the power of attorney ("POA") has limiting language, a Maryland POA is presumed to be durable (remains effective even if the Grantor later becomes incompetent).

The attorney-in-fact ("AIF") must act in the interest of the Grantor and not engage in self-dealing, unless permitted by the specific language of the POA.

The AIF only has authority to act in the areas specifically described in the POA. For example, if the POA says "my agent may handle all of my finances" then the AIF probably has little, if any, authority to act. However, if the POA specifically lists all of the aspects of handling finances in different areas (i.e. "terminate savings, checking, safekeeping, brokerage, investment advisory and custodial accounts in my name at any bank, broker or financial institution and transfer all or any part of my interest in the cash, stocks, bonds and securities"). Usually a 'good' POA will be longer rather than shorter.

As of October 1, 2010, Maryland has two new statutory form POAs which provide for the sanction of attorneys fees if someone refuses to honor the POA and the court finds in favor of the Grantor/AIF.

Bottom line: A POA is only useful to the extent it is accepted by the party confronted by it and contesting a POA which predates the statutory form is less risky than contesting a Maryland statutory POA. Oh yea, be sure to read the POA.

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