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We are in Pennsylvania. My Mom is now in a nursing home. My sister holds the POA. I'm not sure if my Mom really belongs there.

Lansdowne, PA |

My sister and her daughter lived with my Mom for years. Mom has been showing some signs of dementia. My sister got her to put both of them on the house deed, on her bank accounts and give them Power of Attorney. I have my doubts about all of this. It's not about the money; it's about my Mom. She's 90 years old and I want her remaining time to be peaceful. I don't want to start anything but my sister is acting like God - saying who can get info, getting reports on who goes to see Mom, etc. She had Mom sign a new POA giving her full control over everything. Mom just signed it; didn't bother to read it. I need help. Thanks so much in advance.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

for a power of attorney to be valid, the person signing it must not be incapacitated and must be aware of what she is doing. Normally a power of attorney is signed in front of a notary and two witnesses. If you know who they are you might want to talk to the notary and the witnesses to get their opinion as to your mother's state a the time she signed the power. You should talk to an attorney about this.

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Posted

Is there someone I can go to who helps people with no money, cause that's me. I'm disabled and just don't have any extra money to pay an attorney but I want justice for my Mom and for her days to be peaceful. She keeps asking when she'll be leaving there and I don't have the heart to tell her my sister intends for her to live there permanently. Her dementia isn't so far gone yet that she doesn't know what she's doing, but she just signed it, without even asking what it was. I'm kind of frantic thinking about this and there are several family members - outside our immediate family - who totally agree with me on this so it's not just emotional on my part.

Asker

Posted

Oh and thank you so much for responding to my question. I do appreciate it.

Thomas J. Wagner

Thomas J. Wagner

Posted

You might be able to get help from the Department of Aging in your county.

Asker

Posted

Oh great!!! Thanks so much. I'll call them and see if they can help. Thanks again for your help too!

Posted

You have serious questions here. You should seek legal advice. Besides the legal capacity issue at the time your mom signed the POA you may also want to explore if she is being exploited in any way. If you cannot resolve things amicably, you may need to begin a guardianship proceeding (where you could perhaps manage her affairs, revoking any prior power of attorney).

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: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

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Posted

That's what I thought too - I need an attorney which I can't afford. I'm just afraid they're after her money - which I don't think she has much - and they already convinced her to add them to her house deed and have joint bank accounts. I've been telling my Mom for years this was not a good idea and she agreed and didn't really realize what she was doing. She's just so trusting of my sister when she really shouldn't be. Thanks so much for answering my question. I appreciate it so much.

Posted

I agree with my colleagues that you will need an attorney to assist you. You may want to have guardianship to address any depletion of your mother's assets under the POA held by your sister. Any actions done under POA must be in the best interest of your mother. If not, legal action can be taken against your sister for failure to meet her fiduciary responsibility. Of course you have the issue of whether your mother even had capacity at the time of executing the POA.

The information you obtain herein is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It does not establish an Attorney/Client relationship. You should consult an experienced probate or estate attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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Posted

I just spoke with my Mom today and she sounded perfectly normal. She does have some issues with her short-term memory but if she is indeed battling with dementia, I don't think it's very far advanced. I'm going to speak with her physician as my sister hasn't yet told me her diagnosis as far as the dementia is concerned. She just likes being "in charge" and I'm just not sure if my Mom even needs to be in the nursing home. She keeps asking me when she's going to go home. Hard to know how to respond to that. I keep telling her I'm moving in with her. The nursing home is really beautiful so there are no worries about that. It's just that she seems to not really belong there. Thank you so much for responding to my questions. I really appreciate it so much.

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