Power of Attorney and Joint Ownership of Personal Property

I have looked after this 90 year old gentleman's cattle at my farm since 2004. He has paid board for these cattle. Our hand shake agreement was he doesn't go less than 12 head and when he passes away they are to be mine or if he shall not want them any more during his lifetime they are to be mine. He put them in half my name to make sure this happened as he did not put it in his will.
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Having said that, his POA wants him to get rid of the 12 cows he has. This gentleman has also rented another house on my farm for the last 4 years.
Can the POA force the sale of the cattle? He thinks they cost too much! But yet the 90 year old has had the hobby of showing purebred cattle for the last 25 years. This gentleman also has close to a million dollars.

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March 27, 20170 found this helpful

First, it depends on the type of POA. It must specify he is over his finances and has the right to buy and sell on his behalf.

If half are yours, he can not touch those cattle. You may need to get something in writing from him, or get an attorney yourself.

Have you and the gentleman tried talking to the POA?

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March 27, 20171 found this helpful

The POA is for a person who can't make his or her own decisions. If this man is of sound mind, his word goes over the POA.

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March 27, 20170 found this helpful

Try to get something in writing as soon as possible, electronically is fine but paper and pen is great, especially if you end up wanting to take legal action. Keep a record of dates.

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March 28, 20170 found this helpful

I do not believe this is something a lay person can answer. This is expensive property and it would be in your favor to seek legal advice but you will need to know what information to give to an attorney.

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Is the gentleman's POA a family member? Why did he give the POA to anyone? Is he considered of sound mind or do you know about his true health? At age 90 it would seem that he may wish to have someone handle things for him. Have you discussed any of this with the gentleman? If so, is he discontent with what the POA is doing?
I believe it is possible the POA (with financial responsibilities) could force a sale or offer them to you at a market price (less your half). But I do not know this and although I have been involved with helping many people with POA responsibilities I have not heard of this type of situation. This kind of POA can do almost anything with property but they are accountable for their actions.
I do not believe you will be able to enforce a "hand-shake" agreement concerning these animals and the POA can say it would be better for the estate to sell the cattle.
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Who has the most power would be determined by the reason he gave someone a POA and if his mind condition has deteriorated since the legal paper was signed.

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March 29, 20170 found this helpful

You could call an attorneys office and ask for their suggestion. Of course anything in black and white handwritten from the man would be best to help you!

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