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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

  1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. 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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