Mother age 84 , at her home , has Alzheimer , father age 90 , admitted to hospital a couple of days ago with multiple serious ailments and the prognosis isn't good . The seeds of a family feud over multiple issues are beginning to sprout , and I'd like to have the ability to protect my mother , and restore / maintain order . My daughter lives in the same town as my parents , if it's possible for her to act in my place , until I can get there .
Estate Planning Attorney
I'm very sorry to hear about your parents' health problems. In order to get a power of attorney, your parents have to appoint you as their attorney-in-fact. In order to do so, they have to have the mental capacity to enter into a contract. Just because your mother has Alzheimer's doesn't mean that she doesn't have the capacity - it depends how far the disease has progressed. If your parents are able to execute a contract, they can name you, your daughter, or anyone else they choose to handle their affairs.
If your parents aren't of the mental capacity to execute a power of attorney, you will need to get a guardianship or conservatorship over them, which requires a court proceeding. Either way, I recommend you contact an experienced estate planning attorney in your parents' town who can walk you through those issues. Good luck!
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5 lawyers agree
Sorry to hear about your situation. If it makes you feel any better this is a common scenario these days. Unfortunately, it may or may not be too late to get valid powers of attorney, depending on the capacity of your mother, as mentioned by the other attorney. Are all your siblings on board with the idea of you or your daughter acting as agent for one or both of your parents? Sometimes the act of getting the powers of attorney without consulting the other siblings just creates even more problems down the road. You should see an attorney who handles estate planning and elder law issues to help advise you on the best course of action for both of your parents. Good luck!
This answer is for informational purposes only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
2 lawyers agree
Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
In addition to the advice provided, you might also want to ask your parents if they maintained a will. At times, estate planning lawyers will include a provision for powers of attorney in the event of serious injury, loss of capacity etc. I recommend you ask your parents to review the will and make sure it is accurate. Good luck and I am sorry to hear about your situation.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Sorry to hear about your situation. I am sure the last thing you need right now is family strife. As mentioned above, if there is capacity, the can new documents.
If they do not have capacity, review the power of attorney to see if it gives you broad power to delegate your authority to another person. It probably does not, other than delegating certain tasks to CPAs or attorneys, but it is worth looking over the documents on the off chance broad delegation is allowed.
Also, look at who is named as successor or alternate agent. If it is your daughter, you could give up your power and allow her to act under the documents.
A guardianship of one or both of your parents is also an option, but is very stressful, expensive and sometimes contentious. However, if you feel a family feud is brewing, you should consult an elder law attorney sooner than later. Try to keep the peace, but also protect yourself and your parents by getting professional counsel. Usually the person who acts first has more control over the situation, so if a guardianship is necessary or imminent you want to be the first to petition.
Newill Law Firm
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