My sister has a healthcare POA for my dad. Can she tell people I can't see/ talk to him because she has the POA,?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Fosston, MN

Over the last couple of years we have run into some money problems and my mom & dad were helping us out to pay odd bills and such. After my mom passed away suddenly my sister went in and had my dad sign a healthcare POA and she also had him create several amendments to his and my moms will subtracting the money they gave to us from our inheritance. She told my dad to stop helping us or she would contact Social Services that we are abusing him. I ended up calling SS on her and my brother because of the way they were treating him. They blocked our phone numbers, prevented us from seeing him and even called the police if we tried to see him. She told the police and SS that because she has POA over my dad she makes all his decisions and they have to go thru her. Isn't this a form of abuse?

Additional information

Also his healthcare POA only kicks in when he become incapacitated. Now he is still paying his own bills and can function normally but he was labeled a vulnerable adult by SS. I have some police reports that state from the officer because she has a POA over my dad she can dictate what he can and can't do, the SS lady also told the police that as well. SS was going after us but dropped the case when we showed them we actually had paid back my dad via paychecks and such. But the only reason SS got involved was because I and my husband filed a compliant against my sister and brother and they end up twisting things so SS went after us...Please tell me they have broken some kind of law and there is something we can do here...

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Matthew Thomas Majeski


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree


    Answered . She is incorrect, a health care POA does not allow her to make decisions or be the "authority" that everyone has to go through to contact your father. She is confusing it with Guardianship/Conservatorship (although from the sounds of it I wouldn't point her in those directions). A health care directive is a narrow form which only allow the agent to make health care decisions for the other person (your father).

    Overall, this sounds like a very ugly situation that's only going to get worse. I strongly recommend you obtain legal counsel familiar with estate planning issues to help enforce your father's rights and your rights.

    Disclaimer: This email message in no way creates an attorney client relationship between Majeski Law, LLC and the... more
  2. Latosha A. Wilkes Crawford

    Contributor Level 10


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Sorry to hear about the situation. A power of attorney can be as limited or grant as much power as the individual desires. A power of attorney operates even while a person is not incapacitated, thus your sister can legally be making decisions on behalf of your father even if he's currently paying his own bills.

    A durable power of attorney would remain in effect if your father became incapacitated whereas a general power of attorney probably would not.

    Under the facts you state your sister obtained the agreement immediately after your mom's death, if you have proof this was due to fraud, duress, etc you may be able to challenge the validity of the power of attorney agreement.

    You could also file for guardianship, but you may have a strong burden of prove to overcome.

    You should probably schedule a consultation with an attorney to go through your facts. Additionally, you should try to get a copy of the POA for the attorney to determine its scope.

    Best Wishes

    The information provided should be considered an opinion only. This information does not establish a client-... more
  3. James P. Frederick

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Majeski. You may need to file for guardianship/conservatorship, if your father is no longer able to handle his own affairs. If that is not the case, and he IS capable of handling things, then you should speak with him about this situation.

    The problem you *may* have is that if the police believe you are locked out, then you may be refused access to see your father, unbeknownst to him. An attorney can assist you with this situation, but I agree that this is a big mess, and it may get a good deal messier, before you are through.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and... more

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