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Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney

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Power of Attorney

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.


Solutions: Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney

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Tip: Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parent

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.

Question: Scope of Powers 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 Cindy


Most Recent Answer

By Luann DeLuca [5]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.

Question: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

Does the person who has POA for a parent, have a responsibility to provide financial reports to the other siblings?

By Loretta from IL


Most Recent Answer

By Fionar Booker09/04/2010

No, the person designated with power of attorney doesn't have to provide financial reports.

Question: POA Rights and Responsibilities

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.

Most Recent Answer

By annie06/05/2011

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).

Question: Information on Power of Attorney

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.

By Lou

Most Recent Answer


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.

Question: Changing a Power of Attorney

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 Pam

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]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.

Question: Getting a POA for a Deceased Parent

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 Shannon

Most Recent Answer

By Rhoda Lange [4]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.

Question: POA Rights and Responsibilities

My friend's daughter has the POA for her. However, the daughter just recently went to the bank where the account was and moved the money out of my friend's account and started a new account in her name. Is that legal? First off, my friend had no knowledge until it was too late. My friend had already spoken to multiple employees of the bank days prior to this incident, attempting to get her money secured for the time being while she was in the process of getting her daughter removed as her POA. Well, after multiple employees told her how to secure her money, that next day her daughter was still able to walk in there withdraw the money and start a new account in the daughter's name. How is this possible? The daughter doesn't think what she's doing is a crime, because she is more or less trying to say that it's her money. I also noticed on one of your answers it says that a POA is supposed to use the money entirely on the person they are acting for. Well, from my understanding, the daughter has already spent a good majority of the money on her personal bills such as rent, etc. Altogether she probably has spent a little over 20 grand on all of these personal matters. Anyways, this is illegal right?

By Lacey

Most Recent Answer

By gem [150]02/14/2015

It is legal in some states. Also you will find people are advised to do this to do a spend down later on to get into a facility. Most facilities will take everything you own if you cannot pay the rent. She also may be keeping it all for herself which is abuse and should be reported. Ask her first before you jump to conclusions. She may have been advised to do this. It is very confusing.

Question: Property Management and a POA

My husband is incarcerated and he has at least 6 homes that his dad has been taking care of, a system that has been working. Now his dad brought POA papers to my husband requesting he sign them, he didn't. My husband wrote a simple letter giving him power as overseer of the property, that's it! He had it notarized. Well his dad is really pushing this POA and I'm starting to question his motives. My question is why isn't the letter enough; why keep pushing for POA?

By Kelly R

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]01/28/2015

I do not believe anyone here can really help you with this as legal representation is what you need. A simple notarized letter granting your father-in-law as "overseer" of property does not give him very much legal control - not like a POA would.

Is your name on any of the property?
If not - why?
It seems for sure that your father-in-law wants more control than just "looking" after the property so it would be wise for you to try to protect what may be yours(?) and your husbands property.

You probably will not qualify for free legal services but you should try to find an attorney who is familiar with this type of situation.

Question: POA Responsibilities Toward Alcoholic Parent

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

Most Recent Answer

By Linda N.01/23/2015

No you cannot. Power Of Attorney, either for financial or health care, means that you can make decisions in the event your father cannot. It is not up to you to decide that he cannot. Only a court can do that as you are not yet his guardian. Call the probate court where your father lives and inquire about obtaining guardianship. His physician will have to fill out a bucket of paperwork, a court social worker usually must meet your father, and then a judge or magistrate will hold a hearing.

In most states, your father must be notified and has the right to attend and speak for himself. The judge will try to determine if he is a danger to himself or others, but even that 'danger to self' thing is tricky as the law gives folks the right to live as we choose. Usually this probate court process is not very expensive and any doc who has older patients has seen this kind of thing before. Good luck to you! (PS I am an eldercare social worker in Ohio.)

Question: Responsibilities of POA

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.

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]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).

Question: POA Rights and Responsibilities When Selling Property

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

Most Recent Answer

By Louise B. [5]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.

Question: Power of Attorney and Parent in Nursing Home

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

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]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.

Question: Power of Attorney and Selling a Home

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 Susan

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]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.

Question: POA Verses Trustee of a Trust

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 Lori

Most Recent Answer

By cybergrannie [30]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.

Question: Protecting Mother's Pensions and Finances

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

Most Recent Answer

By Abigail A. [6]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.

Question: Power of Attorney for an Elderly Parent

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

Most Recent Answer

By Cynthia11/06/2013

I have POA for my Mom, and she doesn't stay with me. She lives in a memory care home.

Question: Ensuring Care for Elderly Parent Without Power of Attorney

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?


Most Recent Answer

By Linda N.01/23/2015

I am an eldercare social worker in Ohio and the fastest thing to do is for you and your father to phone (immediately!) the probate court in the county where your mother now lives and make arrangements for the court to appoint you as your mother's legal guardian. This should be easy to do as it sounds as if your father would be in favor of it. I would suggest that you request guardianship of person and estate, so that you can protect her $$ assets in the future to ensure her care needs are met.

Question: Legal and Financial Responsibilities of a POA Holder

Is the person that is appointed to have power of attorney responsible for the person's debt?

By Mary Jane

Most Recent Answer

By audi [2]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.

Question: Responsibilities of Power of Attorney

If you have power of attorney for an elderly granmother and she dies, are you responsible for her debts?

By Lisa J

Most Recent Answer

By Dinah Ackerson [2]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?

Question: Designating a POA

My father passed in May in Pennsylvania. My mother's will has him as her POA, does she have to change that now?

By May

Most Recent Answer

By Abigail A. [6]10/06/2014

Yes, she does need to change it.

Question: Questionable Power of Attorney

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

Most Recent Answer

By frances [1]04/22/2014

You and your sister need to speak to an attorney immediately.

Question: HIPPA Rights/POA

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

Most Recent Answer

By Dyend R.12/16/2013

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

Question: POA Rights and Responsibilities Regarding Sale of a Home

Can a person with power of attorney sell the home of the person he s representing?

By Rae

Question: Reassigning a Power of Attorney For Elderly Parent

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?



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.

Archive: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

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

RE: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

I may be wrong, but I believe that the power of attorney ends when the person dies. Then the responsibility goes to the executor (or whatever it is called in your locale) who then deals with settling the debts of the estate. They should not be able to hold the person with power of attorney responsible for anything other than things to do with the person's affairs and only while they are alive. Like I say, I may be wrong, but that is the understanding I have of the law of my state.

I found a link that will help explain it:

Susan from ThriftyFun (10/25/2007)

By ThriftyFun

RE: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

I agree with what Susan posted. The power of attorney ends when someone passes away. The administrator or exceutor of the estate makes payments for the bills and the money comes out of the estate. I listen to an attorney radio program on WJR and they say the same. (10/25/2007)


RE: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

The power of attorney is for the person named as power of attorney to handle financial matters for someone who is disabled. I have 13 clauses in my power of attorney and a clause for penalties to the person who is to execute the acts and deeds should they abuse the terms of the power of attorney.

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)

By Dean

RE: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

Carole (the guest posting) may have something other than a POA for her brother, such as joint ownership or as co-signor for the specific debt/mtg. As Susan stated, POA gives the person the ability to manage the account should something happens to you. If you die, the money in the accounts may be use to pay off your debts, but if there isn't enough he/she will not be responsible for the deficit

Anna, NYC (10/26/2007)

By aw_$mgr96

RE: Power of Attorney Responsibilities

We recently discussed this in one of my law classes. The executor, administrator, or the heirs are not responsible for debt that cannot be paid off by the estate. Many times, people are either not aware of this and make arrangements with creditors; or think "Mom wouldn't want this to be unpaid. I'd better pay it." I don't think that there is a creditor alive who would refuse payment, even if it wasn't obligatory. (10/29/2007)

By Erin

Archive: Legal and Financial Responsibilities of a POA Holder

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

RE: Legal and Financial Responsibilities of a POA Holder

The best answer would be from an attorney who is familar with that type of law. (11/09/2010)

By foxrun41

RE: Legal and Financial Responsibilities of a POA Holder

You would have had to have seen a lawyer to get the POA so call that person and ask. (11/10/2010)

By Lilac