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Responsibilities of a 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.

Power of Attorney
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August 21, 2016 Flag
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My nephew has DPOA for my father. Can my nephew sell his own house and make my father's house his own permanent home? My nephew is closing bank accounts left and right. My nephew's wife is signing back of checks to be deposited and signing checks to pay bills. She is a teacher and says that they, the law won't question it at all because I am a teacher and teachers don't lie. (That is how my nephew got DPOA thru the courts, because his wife is a teacher.) They both have criminal records, one assaulted a police officer and one for obstructing a police officer and disorderly person (maybe drunk). Before my mother died my father/mother had a will/trust and I the daughter was in charge. I even paid their bills even after her death. My dad has dementia and did a new will/trust and made my nephew POA. Is this legal or not? Can my nephew have a DPOA with a record, or sell his own house?

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August 21, 20160 found this helpful

I strongly suggest that you retain an attorney immediately! Your attorney will advise you on your nephew's legal, financial and medical responsibilities as a POA and file legal actions to stop all illegal activity. Your nephew must be able to account, to the penny, all financial and actions he has made.

Please do not delay as your nephew may have already used his POA to hide financial accounts, etc.!

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July 27, 2016 Flag
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In regard to being a power of attorney (PoA), how far back do you have to keep documentation for accounting purposes?

I have been PoA for my mother since 2004 and had to place her in a nursing home due to her dementia 13 months ago. She is now 90 and has enough assets to pay for her care with her private funds for at least a few more years. Because of the the 5-year Medicaid look-back period, I have been discarding all records that go beyond 5 years, and have been doing so on a monthly basis. For example, this month (July 2016) I discarded all records dated June, 2011. Do I need to hold onto everything, no matter how old it is, just in case of an audit (for example, at the request of my siblings) or is 5 years of record keeping sufficient?

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July 29, 20160 found this helpful

I believe that most responders would tell you to keep all records "forever" but that may not always be a good idea. Only an experienced attorney can tell you for sure. Remember, your siblings will have access to your records and can request an answer to every little "expense" on your records. This can get very "tedious" when it comes to records 10 years old. I would think an attorney could give you the best answer.

Where siblings are involved, anything could happen after your mother passes away as many of us have already experienced.

It is sad, but where money is involved many people "change" into someone we never knew existed.

I believe you should request a consultation with an attorney who is familiar with POA's so you will have some idea as to what to expect when the time comes to give an "accounting".

It is possible that any attorney fees would be counted as an expense from your mother's assets.

You may be in for a "rough" ride with your siblings so brace yourself with knowledge and facts before it happens.

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July 23, 2016 Flag
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Does a POA give me the right to go and remove money if my dad askes me so?

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July 26, 20160 found this helpful

@DCA: How far back do you have to keep documentation for accounting purposes? I have been PoA for my mother since 2004 and had to place my mother in a nursing home 13 months ago; she is 90 and has fairly substantial assets. Since then, due to the 5-year Medicaid lookback period, I have discarded all records that go beyond 5 years, and have been doing so on a monthly basis (for example, this month (July 2016) I discarded records from June, 2011). Do I need to hold onto everything, no matter how old it is?

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July 13, 2016 Flag
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While my elder sister has never been a real sister to me since I was very young, she has not stopped short of being really mean spirited to me for years in any capacity that she could.

She holds POA for my mom; both live in Florida. My mom divorced my father and moved to Florida about 18 years ago when she retired at the age of 70. I live in Connecticut. Since my mom moved to an assisted living facility 4 years ago, my sister has done everything possible to interfere with my ability to communicate with my mom.

Examples: 1) when my mother changed rooms within the facility and was assigned a new phone number at the facility, my sister not only refused to share that information with me, but actually blocked me from getting it from the assisted living facility. I called the police and they said I have to hire an attorney. 2) When my mother fell and broke her hip bone and the artificial hip she had, the day after my mom's surgery, she went off on a cruise, leaving my mother alone. After 2 to 3 weeks of recovery Mom was transported to a therapy center to recover, my sister refused to tell me where she was sent after repeated requests and my mother telling her to communicate that to me. I had to call all the facilities in the area for 3 days to find my own mother. 3) I now have learned from my younger sister that my elder sister (POA) has not started taking my mail that I send to my mother and has not given it to her. I do not know if she will. The mail is letters to my mom from her mom over 60 years ago, which my mother has been waiting for now for 2 weeks. She has nothing like that from her mom.
While I understand she (POA) does not need to communicate things about my mother, she has successfully blocked my ability to get any information about my mom's health, send her mail, and get information if she moves to a hospital or even if her phone number changes. I can only imagine that she will now change my mom's telephone number so I cannot have access to speak with her anymore. When I visited my mom a few months ago, we tried to add my name to the assisted living facility roster so I can get even updated contact information about my mom, and even my mom has been blocked from changing this because a few years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

Please help if there are any other options without going through a very costly court battle which I cannot afford. My mom is 89 this year and is not well. She may not have another year left.
Thank you so much!

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July 15, 20160 found this helpful

A POA usually addresses only medical and financial issues unless there is specific language for other issues-rarely!. Your sister's POA most probably has nothing to do with all the problems you detail. Unfortunately, your sister's POA does not legally require her to contact you for any reason regarding your mother. You face a serious sibling issue that you both will eventually need to address yourselves or contact an attorney to assist a in a meeting to address your concerns.

I would also be concerned about your mother's finances and what your sister may have done regarding your mother's bank account monies and other financial accounts. As POA, she is required to be able to support every penny she has ever removed or spent from all of your mother's accounts.

Unfortunately, unless you both can meet and come to an agreement about the communication issues, you will probably need to seek legal assistance to address the problems. You can find an attorney specializing in POA and elder care issues in Florida from the Florida Bar Association site:

Good Luck!!!

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October 28, 2015 Flag
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I was POA of my dad. He passed and I found out a POA is only good when they are alive. My question is before he died I moved money from his account to mine am I allowed to do this? He had no will, no living trust, no house, and no property. I payed all his bills and closed all his accounts as well. Any help would be appreciated.

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Anonymous Flag
April 12, 20160 found this helpful

I am not a Lawyer but I have experience of this..

You can transfer the money and it is a good idea as you may need it to pay the Inheritance Tax due.

Then you should declare the amounts of the gifts to you on the Probate forms. If the amount is more than allowed over the seven years prior to death then there may be tax to pay if the estate and the gifts are over the tax threshold. 325000 for a single person, 650000 for a couple.

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December 19, 2015 Flag
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I have durable power of attorney over my 76 year old dad and I live with him. I am trying to encourage and prevent him from driving because he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's/dementia and has quite a bit of hallucinations, memory loss, lack of motor skills, and reasoning, etc. He continues to argue with me that he is not crazy (those are his words, not mine) and he is quite capable of driving.

I received info from another legal source that I can be held responsible for an incident, such as if he gets into a car accident and kills someone else. They can hold me responsible for the death of the other person because I am aware of my dad's health issues and I could even go to jail. I have been trying to collect all tangible information I can on this ailment and the legal ramifications and hopefully some serious communication from his doctor to try and get a handle on this issue. I just want to make sure what legal and/or criminal responsibilities I may incur if something like this happens. If anyone knows the actual case law so I could look it up, that would be great.

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March 6, 20160 found this helpful

My dad was the same way wanting to drive when he shouldn't so we took him to the DMV and he had to take the test and a vision test that he didn't pass. So he was upset and i asked the woman helping us what can i do she seen how my dad was a talked to him explaining to him why he couldnt't drive, sometimes being as they are our parents don't want to listen to there children so because it was someone else talking to him an athourity figure he listen was still upset but knew he could no longer drive. She then suggested we just get him an ID for identification so we ended up doing so. My dad was very stubborn and set in his ways maybe have an employee talk to him and explain why hes is not able to drive anymore.

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May 24, 2016 Flag
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I have a medical and legal power of attorney for my brother. He has been in and out of the hospital. We learned yesterday that his roommate now owns his home. My brother thought he was making a change to his will a year ago. Now he found out he titled the deed to his roommate. The lawyer involved did not know my brother had a will. His roommate did. It only gave a percentage to the roommate upon his death. Is there anything I can do to help him get his house back in his name? I was not informed of all this when it happened.

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May 24, 20160 found this helpful

Also-check with your brother's bank and all other financial institutions to see if your brother has made any changes to his existing accounts that may have been changed with prompting by the roommate.

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March 6, 2015 Flag
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Long story short, my BF lives in the United States, but I do not. He was incarcerated, but gave me power of attorney to try and sell his vehicles. The problem is his vehicles are under financing and a lean loan. Should I inform these companies that he is incarcerated? Or just tell them I have POA and need to know how to sell them? My fear is they will try to reposess them because no payments have or can be made on them. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

By FeelingHelpless

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March 6, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Unfortunately to sell 'Secured' property as you describe, it must be paid off prior to selling it...usually. I would recommend contacting the lean holders to work out a deal of some kind. Also the POA may be invalid if your boyfriend executed it while incarcerated as he has lost his Citizen rights, including entering into contracts, which a POA is. On the bright side, the lean holders do NOT want the property back. It's a money losing pain in the butt deal for them so if you contact them & are honest about the situation, they may allow you to sell the vehicles to satisfy the loans, at least. Hope this helps. Best Wishes.

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