I have power of attorney for my mentally disabled brother can he purchase a car without my consent?

Asked about 1 year ago - Chicago, IL

My brother does not have the mental capacity to negotiate deals and he traded in a like new car for the same new car . Since I have PA can he legally purchase a car without my approval ?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Andrew Otte

    Contributor Level 5


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, he can. If a judge has not decided that your brother is disabled, then he still (legally) retains the capacity to contract. You may wish to speak with an attorney regarding right under a power of attorney and a potential need for a guardianship. If he lacks capacity, then your power of attorney may have been improperly granted, as well.

    Postings do not constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship, nor should any reader rely on any... more
  2. Judy A. Goldstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You askwed basically the same question twice. Your POA may or may not be in place due to lack of mental capacity and your brother may still be able to enter into such an agreement. However, the dealer does not know that. Tell the dealer that your brother does not have the capacity to enter into a financial agreement so it would be in their best interests to take the car back.

    Then consider filing a petition for guardianship if your brother is truly mentally disabled.

  3. John Edward Brennock

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I think that you are asking if your brother's capacity is a basis to terminate the car purchase contract. Lack of capacity is a basis to void an agree, although the car would have to be returned to the seller. As the other poster said, diminished capacity has to be determined by the court. If your brother gave you PA and is still mentally competent, then he is bound to the agreement. You should consult with an estate attorney.

    [Disclaimer- This information is provided as general information only and should not be construed as specific... more
  4. John Justin Hansen

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, he is free to do those transactions. Only if a physician determines he is incapable of making proper decisions like those, would he lose the legal ability to do so. A typical power of attorney that you describe simply makes you his representative, or agent, in various situations.

    Rockford Personal Injury Attorney
    J. Hansen Law Firm
    320 Shaw Street
    Rockford, IL 61104
    Toll Free: (877) 205-6625
    Phone: (312) 878-6410
    Fax: (312) 878-6410
    Email: info@jhansenfirm.com
    Web: www.jhansenfirm.com
    Blog: jhansenlawfirm.wordpress.com
    Twitter: @JHansenLawFirm

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client... more

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

26,393 answers this week

2,905 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

26,393 answers this week

2,905 attorneys answering

Legal Dictionary

Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.

Browse our legal dictionary