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I need to know if a Durable Power of Attorney can override a spouse's rights?

Port Angeles, WA |

My stepdad has been living with me for 10 months, he has Alzheimer's Disease. My mom would put him in a home. Mom is 80, stepdad is 82. They've been married 8 years. He has a good retirement, he retired before they married. Her spending is out of control and don't think he will be able to afford a nursing home when the time comes. My stepdad has had all their expenses on automatic payment for a couple years. She spends and spends She has sold both his cars and bought herself a fancy new car, has sold off all of his things and is selling his house. She is out of control, diagnosed with early stages of Dementia. How do I get control of the situation? I have Durable Power of Attorney for both parents. What can I do?

Attorney Answers 3


It depends on the language in the DPOA. I advise you to take the documents to an estate planning attorney so that he or she can review them and advise you as to your rights as Agent. Some POAs can be used immediately upon signing; others cannot be used until a Principal is declared "incapacitated." Explain the situtation to the attorney to find out your options. You may need guardianship or conservatorship.

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Previous poster is exactly right. If you are the Attorney in Fact for both of them, sounds as though it may be time to invoke that power to get the situation under control. You are going to need a lawyer to review your facts and help you present this to the Court so the Court can make a decision. Best wishes to you. Elizabeth Powell

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I agree with both previous answers regarding the power of attorney and the specific language of that document. You may also need to consider a guardianship for one or both of them also. I recommend that you speak with a qualified attorney who is familiar with powers of attorney and guardianship law.

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