Knowing when someone needs a power of attorney and exactly what authority it gives the bearer is important. This guide is about the responsibilities of a power of attorney.
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I strongly suggest if you have a parent still living that they make you power of attorney over them, in case something happens to them where they might have to wind up in the nursing home. The state will otherwise take their home and property.
By Wendy from Enid, OK
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Here are questions related to Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney.
My friend got arrested and they won't give his monthly trust to him. He gave me his POA. What can I do? She won't acknowledge me.
By Luann DeLuca 01/21/2014
If I get this right: friend arrested, who gets monthly money from trust fund; your friend has made you his/her Power of Attorney; "she" won't acknowledge you. First, who is "she"? Second, the procedure for giving someone Power of Attorney to take care of another's affairs, including trust fund money, will never be recognized just because Person A says that I want Person B (you) to be my POA. Sorry, but you won't be getting your friend's trust fund money.
I am my father's POA, he has been drinking to 300+ blood alcohol levels and as he begins to sober he starts again. Can I commit him?
By JM from Des Moines, IA
I have power of attorney for my father. He has POA for my mother. He has not been declared incompetent but should be. They are both in a nursing home. He wishes to check himself and my mother out and return home. They both have major health problems and are almost blind. They would not have the care they need at home. The nursing home tells me he can check out. How can I stop him from checking themselves out of the nursing home?
By Robert Jr
By cybergrannie 01/19/2015
If this move would truly present a problem for their care and well being, you may have to take legal action.
Does your mother and father have regular medical care where they now live? Have you discussed this move with their doctor?
This may be your only recourse but only you can determine your next move.
My father-in-law died 7 months ago, his power of attorney was held by his lawyer who has been great until now. We are in the middle of trying to sell my father-in-law's home and the attorney just says he is done. Which we disagree with because there is someone on the will who will cause problems. Can the person with power of attorney just walk away like that?
By cybergrannie 01/08/2015
The attorney's "duties" with a POA ended when your father died.
Any duties of this nature will now fall to the executor of the will (which may be this attorney?) or if no will then you will probably have to hire an attorney to help you with legal matters.
Who gave you legal "right" to sell the house and who is deciding how the money received will be divided?
Was there a will stating how property was to be handled?
Did the will go through probate?
These are questions that only you know and what anyone assisting you will need to know. I feel sure you will need an attorney who will know how to handle all of this.
If you have power of attorney for an elderly granmother and she dies, are you responsible for her debts?
By Lisa J
By Dinah Ackerson 12/27/2014
There is no easy answer as responsibilities vary in some states. Suggest a consultation with an attorney experienced in powers of attorney, estates, wills, etc., possibly the attorney who helped with the power of attorney document?
I have a brother who has been supported by our parents for about the last 30 years, he receives a civil service check every month for less than 800.00 a month. Over the past three years I have flown back and forth out of state to care for them, as I live in a different state and my brother lives very near, in a place which my parents paid for.
To make a very long story short last time I was there I had a durable POA and Trust made up with an attorney. My brother was fine with it. My father ended up passing and my mother has been suffering from dementia for years and deteriorating rapidly. My brother had the POA changed to him. My question is he lives there, but hasn't ever paid for anything and I am the trustee of the trust. Can he sell their car and house and their personal property in the event she goes into a nursing home? Please help; by the way we do not get along at all. Suzie Q
By cybergrannie 12/21/2014
Perhaps you could return to the attorney that set up the POA and trust for advice. If not, I would say you need a new attorney ASAP.
My mom is 89 and has dementia. Let me say there is a substantial amount of money and posessions at stake. She and my now deceased dad made a living will and trust in 2000. My dad passed away 7 years ago. I have 1 brother and he is a prescription drug addict and an alcoholic. He is addicted to oxycodone and he also gives it to my mom which at her age could kill her and is taking advantage of my mom's mental state. In the living will I am to have Power of Attorney and if something happens to me then he will. A month and a half ago he took my mom to her attorney and had her change the Power of Attorney to him. He then changed all the locks on her house so I can not get in. I have had a key to her house for 30 years. What can I do to get the Power of Attorney changed back to me or to a neutral person. I live 5 mins from my mom. I go see her every day. I check on her. I go to the store for her. I cook for her, take her to her doctor appointments and dentist appointments. He does not even go see her, now that he had the Power of Attorney changed to him, unless she calls him and asks him to come fix something in her house. I have 1 daughter and 2 grandchildren and he will take everything she has unless this is changed. Please help me. Thank you so much!
By cybergrannie 12/03/2014
I would like to add: it appears that everything he is doing is legal with a full POA and what you do for your mother or what you have done in the past will not make very much difference, as long as he has a full POA.
My mother will be going into care soon, I already have power of attorney over her generally. Can they take all her pensions away from her as they go into her bank account?
By Noelia from Gibraltar
By Abigail A. 12/13/2014
No general advice will help you because you are in Gibraltar. Definitely get in touch with someone who specializes in Gibraltar laws.
Is there supervision of the person to whom I give a POA to transfer my money, which is in the bank, to me? So he might not keep the money himself?
By M H.
By cybergrannie 11/12/2014
I certainly agree with Maw-Maw about not giving a durable power of attorney to just anyone but sometimes it becomes necessary - but - as I said it should be done through an attorney who will have final say. The POA would have the attorney's name AND (not or) another person approved by the one giving the POA.
That way any time anyone tries to use the POA, at least that would give some security with a second person approving what is trying to be done. This is not difficult but it will cost money each time the attorney has to review the POA. This can get expensive so it is best to not give a durable POA and leave all requests in a properly executed will or trust.
But - you can give a standard or durable POA with an ending date - even for just a day - so sometimes this may be the way to go.
A durable Power of Attorney can be revoked by filing with the court but few people go to the trouble to do this. Some people even forget that they gave a POA years in the past - but - without an ending date, the POA is good until that persons death.
Anyone senior dealing with a POA should try to have legal assistance even if it only with a senor citizens association. If the person is unable to visit their office, they will send someone to their house - at least they do in my area (Florida).
My father passed in May in Pennsylvania. My mother's will has him as her POA, does she have to change that now?
By Abigail A. 10/06/2014
Yes, she does need to change it.
When my father passed, a will had already been drawn up by our mother and father. There are three sisters and I am the eldest. I was named executor of the estate by both parents because I was the oldest.
Unfortunately my youngest sister and her boyfriend were living with my mom at the time. Let it be stated that our father had asked Judy (middle child) to help Mom by paying bills and as he stated "keep her happy". In our grief Judy (middle and myself (Joscelyn, eldest) were helping Mom get through her grief although going to mom's house was becoming increasingly uncomfortable as Janet and boyfriend always made us feel as though we were intruding.
It wasn't long before we noticed Mother's mental health deteriorating. Shortly thereafter the will was changed without any notification to Judy and I. The will gave all power to Bret and Janet and literally put Judy and myself out of the picture. Judy objected at a meeting with Mom's attorney, a friend of Janet's (who we also never got a say about) that.
Daddy and Mom had in good faith written the original will making all three sisters equal heirs after the passing of our mother. Suddenly Mom's house which was a part of the estate landed in Janet's and Brets lap. The house was part of the estate.
Now every day Janet and Bret are with Mom, neither of them work. So they'd go to lunch or take Mom anywhere her little heart desired. And while they had her they worked her. They have all the power and he dictates what is in this family. They kept claiming that Mom was competent to decide upon the house, but as soon as they had her in their palms and someone objected they now claim Mom is incompetent. She in fact is, but has been for quite a while. The doctor who decided this was again a person Judy and I ever even met.Judy and I question the sincerity of the couple for many reasons. One of which is I am not permitted on the property with the threat of police and trespassing. Judy and I don't have any right to enter the house to collect any belongings and they feel if the house is theirs so are the belongings. The furniture was divided among the sisters. Three items of furniture mutually agreed upon between sisters were mine. About to remove them, they asked if I would leave them there for a short while until they replaced them. Of course I said yes. The items were, a big screen TV which sits on 1 of a very few pieces that my daddy built. She has all the others and a formal sofa which was the last remaining item from the formal living room I was awarded. Janet begged me because she said that Bret would not buy her another one and they didn't have a sofa.
Meanwhile Bret owns his mother's home in Virginia and his RecDads home in Tennessee and inherited as sole heir what he brags about being about 2 billion dollars. Neither Judy nor I own a home and both work very difficult jobs and take no sick days, while they don't work at all.
Recently I asked my mom for some money to save my car. She called Bret to bring her a check three times and three times he denied her. The last time Janet and Bret came to Mom's assisted living for a showdown. Bret stated he would not give me money until I told him what it was for. My mom meekly said I didn't have to and he said if I want money, I do. She was definitely under his control and began crying. After my sister yelled at me to get a second job and told me I had no right to grieve the loss of my boyfriend 2 mos earlier to a bad heart She said all I did was complain about him and waved me off. I had to leave and left crying and so was my mother.
She has been manipulated. She no longer cares about the family and every holiday and fun time we shared as a family. They take Mom back to her house and keep her overnight so we can't even see her on holidays. Please help.
Our feeling is that when it comes time for an inheritance there will be none for Judy and I and they have forever defiled my father's memory by separating the family and not acknowledging his wishes. Pleas advise me.
By Joscelyn R from Snellville, GA
By frances 04/22/2014
You and your sister need to speak to an attorney immediately.
If my sister has POA over my mom, does my mom have to stay with her, or how does that work?
By TG from TX
I have POA for my Mom, and she doesn't stay with me. She lives in a memory care home.
I have POA and am the executor for my father. My mother is in her last stage of Alzheimer's and my father and I are her care givers. He does not have POA over her for she was not able to sign documents at the time he was aware of POA.
My father is worried that my evil sibling would take over if he had passed on. What can he and I do to make sure my mother keeps getting the great care she is currently getting from me and the rest of my family? Would it solve the problem by going to an attorney and drafting a health surrogate document that states my father's wishes?
By Teresa T.10/30/2013
Go see an attorney soon! Laws are different in each state so to be on the safe side I would go and see an attorney and get everything in writing!
Can a person with power of attorney sell the home of the person he s representing?
My sister and brother have POA over my mother. Neither one is helping her with her medical issues (doctor appt, diabetes, hospital, medication, etc). I feel as if they are not good POAs for her health. What rights do I have. I'm being told because of the HIPPA law, I have no rights and hospitals can't do anything since she does not understand the seriousness of her illness. I also live in a different state than they do.
By Billie Jo
By Dyend R.12/16/2013
RE: HIIPA Rights POA
Hello Billie Jo-
I don't know how old your post is (today is 12/16/13) but I have exactly the same problem.
My mother is becoming very incapacitated, and my sister lives next door. They live several days away from me. I am a nurse.
I have just found out that mom's health care providers were "instructed" not to talk to me because my sister said she has POA (I did not know that mother had a HIIPA POA).
The solution would be to talk to mother - but she lives in under my sister's control and would not want to jeopardize or provoke her (As you can see, the family is dysfunctional). Do you have any advice?
I thank you for your attention. ~ Rouge
My dad passed away in 2010. My mother just passed away in July of this year. We had her propane company come and get her tank. They owed her 178.00 dollars and sent a check in my dad's name. I called them and asked them to put it in my name since I am the executor of her estate and sole heir. They said they couldn't do that, and that if I had power of attorney I should be able to cash the check. Well they are both deceased. Can I make myself POA? Or does that make me POA?
By Rhoda Lange 09/01/2013
As stated by a previous response, a Power of Attorney is good only while a person is alive. Because you're the trustee of the estate, you should be able to sign and cash the check. Sign your dad's name, your name followed by the word, trustee.
Due to my own personal health problems getting worse, I feel I am no longer able to act as power of attorney for my mother who has dementia. How do I go about removing myself from that position? Also, do I need to notify my siblings and whom do I give my mother's banking and legal documents to?
My dad has power of attorney of his father. He has had it for four years. When it was given he was it in sound mind. Now my dad's father has Alzheimer's. A family friend is trying to revoke my dads POA. My dad has done nothing wrong. How hard is it to revoke a POA and how do you contest it.
Yes, definitely seek advice of a lawyer asap, actually two or three, and make sure they give a free consultation when booking the appointments. You should also have a written list of questions ready to ask.
If my brother has a power of attorney and in the will it said our parents house has to be sold, do all siblings need to agree on selling price or can the person with the POA sell it for whatever price he wants?
By Jennie from Victoria, BC
By Louise B. 07/27/2011
Did you mean POA or did you mean your brother is executor of the will? It makes a difference to your question.
I think you should also heed Jilson's points. This is the sort of situation that could possibly create hard feelings for years. My ex's family has drifted apart over the years since his mom passed away and small resentments simmer under the surface that prevent them from being as close as they should be.
If I have POA on my mom's banking account, do I have the right to transfer her money into my account if I feel she in not being competent with her money? Or is that illegal?
By Jessica E.
As her POA you have that right; however, you also need to be able at any moment to provide a paper trail of ANY activity with her money. As POA you have a responsibility to use her funds ONLY for her. You cannot pay your bills, mortgage, utilities, vacations, clothing or other expenses that do not pertain to your mother with her monies. Remember also, your mother can revoke her POA at anytime, unless she has been found incompetent by the Courts, (which to do this you would need to hire an attorney and go through the legal process).
Is the person that is appointed to have power of attorney responsible for the person's debt?
By Mary Jane
By audi 02/23/2011
I agree you need to talk to a lawyer about this. not do laws vary state by state the types of poa do to from general to medical only.
Does the person who has POA for a parent, have a responsibility to provide financial reports to the other siblings?
By Loretta from IL
By Fionar Booker09/04/2010
No, the person designated with power of attorney doesn't have to provide financial reports.
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
Who is responsible if you have a power of attorney on your checking and savings account? Just in case you can not pay your bills and then you die. Is she responsible for the bills.
Joyce from Wisconsin
I found a link that will help explain it: lawdepot.com
Susan from ThriftyFun (10/25/2007)
By LITTLE SUZY
This is not to be confused with a power of attorney for health care also known as a living will. These instruments can get very complicated and one should see an attorney to have one drawn up.
The person was has been named to execute a power of attorney has no further responsibilities once the person dies and is not responsible for the deceased debts while they are living or when they die. The executor of a will pays any debts from the deceased assets. If the deceased has no will then the state will decide how the deceased property is to be probated. (10/26/2007)
Anna, NYC (10/26/2007)
If a person has a POA over a parent and gives the parent permission to drive a vehicle and that parent has an accident is the person in charge of the POA responsible financially in any way?
By Ruby from Farmington, NM