76 year old mother gave power of attorney to my sister. The rest of the siblings do not know the scope of the power of attorney. Recently my mother got deeper with dementia and she cannot monitor my sister's actions. We the siblings are concerned that the sister with the power of attorney may misappropriate/mismanage the money. Can we challenge the power of attorney now that my mother suffers from dementia? What formality do we need to do to protect my mother’s savings as long as she lives and to make sure that the estate is equally divided among siblings after she passes awaysince my mother has clear signs of dementia now, i have reasons to believe she was already affected by the mental illness 6 months ago when she signed the power of attorney to my sister. Since it is reasonable to believe she was mentally ill at the time she signed, how can i avoid the power of attorney?
It will probably be hard to prove that she was not competent at the time it was signed...however the power of attorney is likely very broad in scope, but it MUST be used for Mom's benefit only. Therefore you are entitled to see what is going on with the money - if it becomes evident funds are being misused, the POA can be revoked and a guardian put in place instead.
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.
Steve is right. You may also want to meet with an Elder Law attorney for guidance and assistance. See Avvo.com under Find-A-Lawyer. Good Luck!!
Steve is correct. You should obtain counsel who can determine if your sister is acting in your mother's best interest. Although she has a power of attorney, it should be used for the benefit of your mother, depending upon its scope. If you are concerned it is not being used in that manner, then you should contact an attorney that can assist you.
This answer is based on general legal principles only and is not intended to provide specific legal advice. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not constitute the formation of a lawyer-client relationship. Any reader of this answer should not make decisions based upon in without first directly consulting with an attorney
As the other attorneys have said, mom's POA must generally be used for Mom's benefit only. You are entitled to see what is going on with the money by asking foe annual accountings from your sister if she is not willing to be transparent in her actions. On the iter hand, if your mother trusted your sister with POA, then I suggest you should also trust her, unless she has given you some reason for distrust.
In any event, you and your family, preferably all siblings together, need to meet with an experienced Elder Law Attorney to discuss Medicaid Asset Protection given that your mother might need nursing home care in the future due to her dementia.
Evan H. Farr can be reached at 703-691-1888 or at http://www.farrlawfirm.com. Evan is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, which is approved by the American Bar Association, but Virginia has no procedure for approving certifying organizations. NOTICE - Unless expressly stated otherwise, this communication: (1) is not legal advice absent an existing attorney-client relationship between us; (2) does not create an attorney-client relationship; (3) does not constitute an offer, acceptance, or contract amendment; (4) may contain confidential or legally privileged information protected by the attorney-client relationship and/or work product privilege; (5) is only for the use of the individual to whom it is intended by the sender to be sent, and if you are not such recipient, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance upon this communication is prohibited; and (6) is not intended, and cannot be used, to avoid tax-related penalties pursuant to treasury department circular 230.
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