Good question. Have never confronted this. I suppose since he stands in your husband's shoes, yes he can, but first, depending on what kind of power of attorney it is, there might first need to be a certification of incompetence before your B-I-L can use the power. Obviously, the disease causes physical incapacity, but depending on its stage, not necessarily mental incapacity. So I'd first challenge whether the power is correctly in effect. This also raises the question of whether B-I-L has some motivation to get you divorced to avoid your inheritance rights over whatver husband - again, is he truly acting in the way husband would. If a divorce is file in this way, get a local attorney to help you challenge it. It sounds as if your husband left out of concern for you and family not with a motivation of divorce. B-I-L may be acting counter to husband's real wishes.
To questioners from West Virginia & New York: Although I am licensed to practice in your state, I practice on a day-to-day basis in Massachusetts. I answer questions in your state in areas of the law in which I practice, and in which I feel comfortable trying to offer you assistance based on my knowledge of specific statutes in your state and/or general principles applicable in all states. It is always best, however, to work with attorneys and court personnel in your own area to deal with specific problems and factual situations.
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