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Need advice with getting Power of Attorney over my Grandmother

West Bloomfield, MI |

I need to get Power of Attorney over my Grandmother who was just put in a nursing home by her doctor. She just came out of the hospital. This is a Temp. home for 100 days through medicare. I was told in the past by a lawyer, that I could get paperwork, to take to my Grandmother to sign so I could get Power of Attorney.

Today we talked to a lawyer, that says I have to bring my Grandmother to his office to have her sign paperwork in front of him. He doesn't seem to understand that I can't do that. My Grandmother is under 24 hour care by a nursing staff. She can't leave. The lawyer refuses to help us unless we bring her to him.

My dad originally had Power of Attorney, and simply went to his lawyer, and had the paperwork drawn up and took it to my Grandmother to sign. He had no problems. He died last year which is why I now I have to get Power of Attorney. The lawyer is also giving my mom, a hard time, because my Grandmothers Will, was put in her name instead of mine. The lawyer doesn't seem to believe my mom, that the Will is legal, drawn up by another lawyer, and was signed in front of witnesses. We are out of luck and are stuck. Is there anything that can be done? We have 100 days to get things set, or the nursing home, will be asking us to remove my Grandmother from their home.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

You need an attorney that will come out to the nursing home to meet your grandmother. "Elder Law" attorneys frequently expect to visit nursing homes to meet their clients. Therefore, you should seek out an elder law attorney.
There are other issues that an elder law attorney can help her with, including how to find assistance for paying for continuing care.
There are 2 good reasons why the attorney must meet your grandmother and not just give you the form. The first is to make sure that your grandmother is competent to sign a legal document. The second reason is to assess whether your grandmother wants you as her power of attorney and that you are not trying to take advantage of her.

If I can ever be of assistance, do not hesitate to call my office. We have offices in Farmington Hills and Grand Blanc. My office does meet clients at nursing homes.

Bob Mannor
Michigan Elder Law Attorney
1-800-990-6030

Asker

Posted

Hi Robert, Thank you so much for getting back to me so soon. I really appreciate your time. I just found an Attorney in Troy that is Elder Law. I'm just waiting for a consultation. He emailed me right before I got your message and wants to meet with us. However I'm going to tell my mom your offer, of meeting at your office in Farmington Hills, since it's closer to where we live instead of going out to Troy. I'll let you know what she decides either way. Since her name is on the Will, I've been letting her handle things, except Power of Attorney which my Grandmother would want me to have. We are trying to go with what my Grandmother would want and what she's told us in the past before she became ill. What you say makes complete sense now that's it's explained to me. Thank you and I'll let my mom know as well. The lawyer we talked to on the phone didn't explain any of that to my mom. He spoke to her as if he were accusing us of stuff. My mom almost hung up on him calling him a jerk. My Grandmother's Dementia has become far worse within the last couple of months. She went from having "moments" to totally forgetting people in the family. This caught us off guard. That's when we realized she wasn't in the first stages, of Dementia, like we were told, she's already in the last stages which we weren't prepared for. Just as we were searching for a nursing home, and trying to get paperwork together, we had to take my Grandmother to the hospital. She blacked out and fell in her kitchen. She's been in the hospital ever since. Yesterday they put her in the nursing home. Right after she went to the hospital, someone called social services, on me and my mom, saying that we were abusing and neglecting my grandmother. Me and my mom were in shock. Social Services could not tell us who called, however whoever it was, called them 3 times in the same week turning us in!!!!! What is wrong with people! We couldn't believe it! After all the work we've been doing, living 45 minutes away from my Grandmother, and driving to her house every day to take care of her, someone has the nerve to accuse us of that. All of my family is dead and I'm the only blood relative left on my dad's side. I'm only 33 years old and I'm taking care of my Mom and Two Grandmothers. This is after watching my Dad die in front of me in November of 2011. With no family left on my dad's side, me and my mom are left alone, to take care of my Grandmother, living so far away. So whoever called Social Services had to be a friend of the family or neighbor trying to stick their noses in what's not their business. So now we are dealing with Social Services on our backs. They've called out house twice since my Grandma went into the hospital and then the nursing home. They keep trying to harrass us and are making threats to take us to probate court. Social Services actually showed up to talk to my Grandmother, about me and my mom, abusing and neglecting her! My Grandmother exploded at these people and told them to get the f**k out. She told them to mind their own business. I guess she got really nasty according to the doctors at the hospital. My Grandmother defended me and my mom 100 percent in front of everyone. I still can't believe the nerve of some people. When I questioned Social Services a second time, as to why someone called Social Services on us we were given a different response. This time we were told that, the person that turned us in, believes that either we need to be with my Grandmother 24/7 or she needs to be in a nursing home. Well considering we live 45 minutes away, I'm taking care of another Grandmother who lives 60+ minutes away, that I have to drive to at least 3 times a week, because she cannot walk, and then taking care of my mom who I live with because of HER medical conditions. These people expect me to be in 3 places at once which is impossible. I was also told that whoever they are, they expect me to move in with my Grandmother to take care of her. So I'm just supposed to leave my mother alone,

Asker

Posted

Sorry for calling you Robert. I looked at your full name and didn't even notice you signing Bob below your response. You can tell where my brain is. I am having my mom call your office Monday or Tuesday. Whichever day she'll be home. My mom is actually excited to get things going which was a surprise. She's been really depressed over the whole situation, just like me and now her spirits are up a little bit. I reminded her that things may not go, the way she wants them to, or even how my Grandmother wants them to due to the Dementia. I told my mom that you may meet my Grandmother, and she may have an episode while you are there, and not even know how to write her name or understand what you are telling her. I also reminded her that my Grandmother has to say that she wants me Power of Attorney. Otherwise I can't be. So that kinda killed my mom's spirit a little bit. I then told her that my Grandmother may ask my Aunt to be her Power of Attorney. My Aunt is my Grandmother's daughter in law who has been playing caregiver to my Grandmother full time. So because of that my Grandmother wants my Aunt to do EVERYTHING for her. Normally my Grandmother would not want that. Before the Dementia set in my Grandmother and my Aunt did not get along. However since the Dementia she sees my Aunt's face, the most, so she's the one that she relies on and started calling "MOM" recently. Surprised the heck out of us. So I figure whatever makes my Grandmother happy, in the frame of mind she is in is the way we are going to have to go. I don't want her upset more than she already is. She fought us with trying to get a caregiver for her. She also fought us with the nursing home. We didn't want her in the nursing home to begin with but the doctors gave us no choice. The doctors have had to know my Grandmother out with drugs, to get her to calm down and relax in the hospital. Apparently the nursing home had to do something similar. She keeps saying she wants to go home and to let her out. Every time we hear this, it breaks mine and my mom's hearts. We really want to take her home and can't. My Grandmother keeps making the comments, that she is going to die in a nursing home, shortly after being there and that she'll lose who she is. We keep trying to tell her that's not true, and that we are all here, we're not going anywhere, and we'll make sure she has all her stuff from her house with her. It didn't seem to make any difference. Even trying to convince her that things will be ok, it's difficult, because I put myself in her position, and I would most likely be depressed, upset, scared, etc, myself and would want to go home. So I try to talk to her in a way, that I understand and what I personally might do in that situation. It helps a little bit and she seems to calm down. I'm the only person she calms down around. Everyone else seems to upset her in some way. Including my Aunt and my Mom. That's why they both want me to have Power of Attorney like my Dad did. It makes me nervous honestly. But I have to make sure she's taken care of. Even if we have to go to Probate Court to do it.

Posted

I agree with Attorney Mannor. If you simply have the lawyer draw up the documents without ever having met with the client (who is your grandmother, by the way), then it opens the documents up to all kinds of challenges. It reduces the lawyer's role to a mere "scrivener" and does a disservice to your grandmother.

Most estate planning lawyers make "house calls" or will go to the facility, even if it costs you a little more for this service. You should find a lawyer who will agree to do so.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

Asker

Posted

Hi James, I just replied to Robert Mannor) if you want to read more about what I'm dealing with. I'm wondering why my Dad was able to get Power of Attorney, over my Grandmother without having her there? He met his Attorney, signed some paperwork, then took the paperwork to my Grandmother who signed her part of it. Not sure how they got away with that. The lawyer moved to another area, shortly after my dad passed, so I have no way of contacting him and have no clue where he moved to. The lawyer my mom talked to on the phone won't meet us anywhere but his office. My mom questioned him about that. So apparently he's not one that's willing to do that. So far I now have two lawyers. One in Troy who I contact....and Robert Mannor's office. It's currently my mom's call even though she wants me to have the Power of Attorney. We've been sharing and splitting up different jobs since there is so much to do and take care of.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

It sounds like one of the biggest challenges will be whether your grandmother is competent to sign a POA or not. Best of luck with that. It sounds like the APS investigation will probably take care of itself. You are on the right track. You just have difficult circumstances.

Asker

Posted

Yeah I never thought I'd be the one in the position, being so young, taking care of my Grandmothers plus my Mom. I expected one day to have to take care of my parents of course but not my Grandmothers. I guess I just get what life throws at me. I've found that life doesn't always go the way we were raised and the way that it's supposed to work. Talk about learning the hard way. It's going to be a toss up I think whether she can sign the paperwork. If we catch her at the right moment, she won't hesitate to sign and will understand. If we catch her at the wrong time, she won't understand at all and won't sign. So I'm not holding my breath. We get what we get I guess. I guess we'll have to work with whichever direction it goes. Thank you again for your time I really appreciate it. WE actually appreciate it. I've just decided to let Social Services do whatever they want as far as checking on our situation. Before me and my mom were fighting them, because they were making threats, scaring my Grandmother, etc. However we've got so much other stress on us, aside from Social Services, that we need to concentrate on the more important things that worrying about Social Services. We have no need to worry since we are being falsely accused. So I talked it over with my mom and we are just trying to relax.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

I think that is a wise choice and the best that you can do, under the circumstances.

Posted

You raise a lot of different issues. First when your Dad had Power of Attorney for your Grandmother, did that document have a backup? That would have been best. I'm not real clear about what is going on with the Will issue.

Your grandmother should have a financial power of attorney and a health care power of attorney. The questions are whether she has the capacity to understand and execute the documents and who she wants to give the powers to. As an estate planning/elder law attorney I often go to hospitals and nursing homes etc. Often we have to get someone else to be a witness as well.

I'd be happy to help if you give me a call. My office is in Plymouth and I reside in West Bloomfield. I will be on vacation next week but if you would call me Thursday or Friday we could get started and complete them if your grandmother is able when I get back. Ken

Asker

Posted

Hi Kenneth, Yes we have a whole bunch of issues going on all at the same time. Things have gotten very confusing. We had no warning that my Dad was going to pass, and it happened very suddenly, due to the stress he was under, taking care of everyone including my Grandmother. His heart gave out and I was all of a sudden put in his position. I'm the only blood relative left. So being 33 years old, and knowing nothing about law, nursing homes, Will's, etc, I'm having to learn as I go and having to write everything I learn down. My Mom depended 100 percent on my dad who took care of everything. When he passed my mom was completely lost and crying on a daily basis. I personally was emotionally messed up for a long time. However I had to put aside my emotions, suck it up, and take care of business, not only for my Mom's sake, for more for the sake of my Grandmothers safety and health. I couldn't allow her to fend for herself with Dementia. I love her too much and it would kill me if anything happened to her. Plus my Grandmother always took care of me growing up, made sure I was safe and was always there. So this is the LEAST I can do for her. I know my Dad had paperwork that I saw briefly that he got from the lawyer. I only skimmed over it. He has everything together in an envelope. I know my Dad a witness along with the original attorney for the POA. As far as the Will which I was there for. We had a lawyer draw up the paperwork, he said to have my Grandmother sign it, after it's been noterized at her bank in front of a witness. So that's what we had done with that. So her Will is all set which we are glad about. Oh wow! You live in West Bloomfield! That might make it easier for us and you too! I'll let my mom know since she already has a lawyer in mind. Plus I received a response from another lawyer on her Robert Mannor that I also have to let my mom know about. It's her decision and money. Depending on what my mom decides she wants to do, if she wants to get together, would you mind coming to our house? Would that work for you? I know my mom won't drive to Plymouth. She can't ride for very long in a vehicle due to an Inner Ear Disease. Just to let you know my Grandmother has the last stages of Dementia. We just found that out within the last 2 months. So one minute she is mentally all with us and knows what's going on. The next minute she may be starring at the wall. Sometimes she has severe mood swings along with anger. Sometimes she is so confused, that she can't even remember, what someone said 5 minutes ago, or who anyone is. So we try to take it minute to minute with her and day to day. We never know what mental state she's going to be in. Sometimes with doctors, nurses, caregivers, etc, she'll be herself and do whatever they ask. Other times if they do something she doesn't want, or doesn't agree with, and if they don't stop, she'll get physically violent, and start hitting/kicking. This doesn't happen often so believe it or not she's not a real threat. It's only if she feels threatened in some way she defends herself. She'll only get violent like that if someone touches her, and doesn't stop when she asks them to.

Kenneth R. Gold

Kenneth R. Gold

Posted

If your grandmother has dementia then she can not execute any estate planning documents. You may need to get a guardianship or conservatorship at the probate court. If you call me we can discuss this further. I often go out to houses, nursing homes etc. As a reminder, I am on vacation next week.  Ken ---

Asker

Posted

Hi Ken, Not a problem at all. We have tons of other stuff to work on in the meantime, just in case my mom, decides she wants to give you a call or if other situations don't work out. We are overloaded with the amount of stuff we have to do. All of which are important and need to be taken care of. Yeah we have nothing set as far as my Grandmothers Estate. We are not even touching that area, until my mom chooses a lawyer. We don't want to have my Grandmother in a nursing home, and then for example transfer her home to us, or even sell it and then get ourselves in trouble financially later. I just recently learned how that works to a point. I don't want us ending up in a bad position. I really don't want anything happening to my Grandmothesr Estate. She wants it kept int he family. However financially we may not have a choice. It's just a depressing situation all around, for us and for my Grandmother. I'd rather have her in her own home where she's comfortable and happy. However I had to think about her health, and safety, above and beyond, her comfort and happiness. It's was a horrible position to be put in. My Grandmother had hate me after this when she finds out it's me making the decisions. If my Grandmother was all there in the head she would accept things. However with the Dementia she is fighting everyone which is not like her.

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