My mother-in-law was diagnosed in January of 2009. In April 2010, my sister-in-law tricked my mother-in-law into naming her as durable power of attorney, and healthcare power of attorney. She has since moved her to another state, to an assisted living home. My mother-in-law is very lucid at times, and complains of how my sister-in-law is treating her. She has asked my husband to help her, because she is being controlled to the point that she receives no money to shop, the daughter is taking anything she wants, jewelry, antiques, etc for her own personal use. The daughter will only communicate with my husband and other sister in law through a lawyer. My husband would like to know if there are any options he has to become her durable power of attorney. Please advise.Also, if she was already diagnosed with dementia, is it even valid? is there a way we could see what she is doing with the money? She is availing herself to everything according to my mother-in-law, and she is very upset about it and doesn't want to be so controlled.
Bring her to an elder care attorney in her area to determine her capacity to make or revoke a POA. If she has capacity, she can revoke the old one and do a new one. If not you can discuss other options.
I can tell you from experience that these are some of the worst and most complicated types of situations to be in. Not only are they legally complex, but they tend to tear families apart at the expense of the well being of an elderly parent. You have an power of attorney being enforced in a different state from which it is written, involving law from two states which are probably different. Therefore, you will need to seek legal advise in the state where your mother in law is now to get a clear answer. In Georgia, Powers of Attorney are revocable if the person is competent at the time of the revocation. The issue as to whether or not she was competent when they were signed, even though she was diagnosed before she signed, would be a questions a court would have to determine. There is the whole issue of whathe or not she signed the powers during a "lucid interval" or what you probably refer to as a "good day". Also, this impacts the way she is communicating how she is being treated, and is causing resentment between your husband and his sister, because each side is probably getting different version of the story. It sounds like a co-guardianship would be a good solution, but you would have to get all parties on board, and there may not be such a thing in the state where she is now. You can see how complicated this can get. Please contact an estate or elder law attorney in the are where she is located now to give them all of the facts and to see what your options are.
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