Grandmother recently diagnosed with dementia. Her disease has worsened. She has always been very independent. Family decided on Power of attorney. She is very frustrated with her bills, confused on her times like deadlines, due dates, appointments. She has recently purchased a vehicle at a dealership and is now wanting to take it back. What are my options in this situation.
Elder Law Attorney
While the family may have decided upon using a power of attorney, it is not their decision to make. It is your grandmother's, and she has to have the legal capacity to do it. Dementia is a progressive condition which will eventually rob her of her capacity, but just because she has been diagnosed as having a medical condition that manifests itself as dementia, doesn't mean she has reached the point where she can no longer understand and execute a power of attorney. That is a legal determination that should be made by an attorney. Elder law attorneys deal with these issues all the time. I suggest you contact one and don't waste any time doing it. You don't want to find out you waited too long. and that her condition has progressed too far to get a valid power of attorney. Either conduct a search on AVVO or go to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys website at www.naela.org.
Estate Planning Attorney
You cannot get a power of attorney for your grandmother. Your grandmother is the only person who can appoint someone to act as her agent and handle her affairs pursuant to a power of attorney.
You have a few options, depending on the severity of your grandmother's condition:
1) If your grandmother wants to execute a power of attorney, she should meet with a local elder law attorney. An elder law attorney should be able to determine whether or not your grandmother has the mental capacity to execute a power of attorney.
2) If she does not have the mental capacity to execute a power of attorney, then your family can provide informal support to your grandmother. For instance, someone can keep track of her appointments and make sure that she goes to them.
3) If your grandmother cannot execute a power of attorney, and the informal family support system is not enough to meet her needs, you may want to consider becoming your grandmother's guardian. I would recommend meeting with a local attorney with experience in guardianship matters. Being a guardian is a big responsibility, and it can require a substantial amount of time.
I wish you and your family all the best.
This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and may not be relied upon as legal advice. A careful examination of the facts is necessary before a legal answer may be relied on. You should consult your own attorney before taking or refraining from any legal action.
Estate Planning Attorney
Get a doctor's opinion to determine if she is competent.
If not-take letter to auto dealership and demand to return-also seek guardianship.
If she is competent-take her to an attorney to prepare a POA.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.