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My mother gave me a handwritten will giving me power of attorney, both medical and financial. She also gave me her house.

San Antonio, TX |

She was diagnosed with early dementia three years later. My eldest sister obtained financial power of atty after she was diagnosed. Is the handwritten one I have valid, can I file it, it is not notarized.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

This is a mess. First, if your mom made a DPOA after she was diagnosed then your sister's DPOA may not be valid. Second, hand written documents are always troublesome and it is questionable whether third parties will accept them. If she is still alive your best bet is to petition the court to be named her guardian/conservator. If she is deceased the DPOA lapses and is of no legally void. In any event, you need to meet with an estates/elder law attorney to discuss all the facts and the law of her state of domicile to get specific guidance as to the proper legal course of action.

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Yes it can be a valid Will. It does not matter if it was notarized. You would need to have an attorney look at the Will. the POA after she was diagnosed is voidable if it were contested.


You should retain an attorney to help you. From the facts stated, the Power of Attorney given to your sister at a time when your mother was diagnosed with early dimentia could be challenged by you as being invalid if your mother did not have the mental capacity needed to understand what she was doing on the date it was signed by her. That determination may require filing of a court proceeding.

The Power of Attorney can be handwritten, but it typically is not so banks and other businesses may have concerns about its authenticity.

How your mother gave you her house is also an issue you will need to discuss with an attorney as an oral gift of real property is generally not effective. If it was done with a writing, the issue becomes whether it met all the criteria of a deed.

Good Luck.

Note: This response is: a) limited in scope to questions involving Texas law for a Texas resident; b) is intended only as a general information discussion of an issue raised in the question presented; c) does not constitute legal advice as all relevant facts are not known nor analyzed; and d) does not create an attorney-client relationship.