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How do I get power of attorney for my mother?

Huntington Beach, CA |

My mother is in the final stages of alzheimers she receives monthly benefits from the state and also has an ira account. Both of her accounts were joint accounts with my grandma who is now deceased.. I am trying to get into both accounts but am having trouble accessing them my mother has no ability to even sign anything over for me to be able to acces these accounts which I need to be able to for paying her living expenses. I currently live in the Seattle area and my mom resides in orange county ,Ca. Can somebody please help me with this?


Attorney Answers 4

  1. If your mother does not have a power of attorney naming you or someone else as her agent, in the event of incapacity you cannot now get a POA if she is in the condition you state. If she had capacity (which you state in your opinion she does not) she could sign a POA, but it is too late at this point. The only way to access her finances is for a court ordered guardianship to be started. You will need an attorney to assist you. Advance estate planning likely could have prevented this hassle and cost. Good luck to you in a tough situation.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

  2. I agree with Mr. Zelinger. If your mother is incapacitated, the only way to be granted authority to access any of her accounts or assets is by petitioning the probate court in her county for guardianship.

    You should seek out the assistance of a CA attorney to help you navigate the rules and procedures of guardianship.

    Hope this helps.

    This answer is in response to a general legal question and is intended for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. Use of this website and its e-mail link does not create an attorney-client relationship with Attorney Mekdsy. Messages with confidential information should not be sent to Attorney Mekdsy via the e-mail link. The information provided in this answer must not be used as a substitute for consulting with an attorney. Brian Mekdsy is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts only.

  3. Ashley~
    I am sorry that you find yourself in this position.

    I agree with both of my colleagues. I would simply add that in California, a guardian only handles the affairs of minors. A conservator deals with the affairs of incapacitated adults. A Conservator of the Person oversees the personal affairs of the incapacitated adult. A Conservator of the Estate deals with the financial affairs of the incapacitated adult. Conservators are appointed through probate court proceedings. You need to retain an attorney to assist you, particularly since you are geographically so distant. In fact, given the distance, you *MAY* want to consider if there is someone based closer to your mother who would be in a better position to handle these matters for her.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

  4. Ashley,

    As the other attorneys stated, it sounds like your mother does not have capacity to sign a Power of Attorney. In order to gain access to the accounts, you will need to petition the court through the probate process. Since your mother is in Orange County, the conservatorship should be established there. The Orange County court website has helpful information on conservatorships including what to expect, the process to establish the conservatorship, and the requirements to maintain the conservatorship.

    As the other attorney suggested, it is highly recommended that the conservator live close to the conservatee. The conservator is required to make some appearances in court and will also be required to attend conservator training.


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