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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.
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March 20, 20170 found this helpful

There are a variety of reasons that it makes sense to have an elderly parent assign power of attorney to an adult child. This is a guide about power of attorney for elderly parent.

Older man signing a legal document.

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March 15, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about changing a power of attorney. Generally consulting an attorney is your best course of action when you need legal advice.

Power of Attorney documents on a desk.

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February 13, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about Power of Attorney and HIPPA rights. Navigating through legal and medical issues can be complicated.

A pencil and the word legal written.

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January 31, 20170 found this helpful

Changing a Power of Attorney designation is sometimes necessary. Here is information to answer the question: "Can I get my friend's POA changed?"

Brief case with a power of attorney in it.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
October 28, 2015

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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By 1 found this helpful
January 11, 2017

As POA for my mother-in-law, she is in a nursing home, will I be responsible for her funeral when she passes? I am on SS and it is the only income I have. I live in Indiana, she has a son in Nevada who has nothing to do with her. I am all she has here in Indiana.

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March 6, 20150 found this helpful

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.

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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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By 0 found this helpful
July 10, 2008

My husband has POA over his mother's affairs. His brother recently became medical POA when their mother was deemed incompetent due to Alzheimer's. So now his brother is responsible for all sitter care (hiring, scheduling, paying, etc.) This has caused a lot of conflict.

My husband has run the sitting staff for 3 years without problems. Now his brother wants to change things. So now my husband just wants to pay his brother $10,000/month and let him pay the sitters, buy the groceries, pay for medications, etc. I told him I thought he was still responsible for getting receipts and being accountable for money spent and he said that he wasn't worried about it, that as soon as the money ran out, then the sooner his brother would have to take total responsibility for his mother. She would then have to move in with him because he would have to sell the house since there would be no more money left in the checking account to pay bills. Is he right?

Susan from Slidell, LA

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

Your husband is in a difficult situation and it would be in your better interest to consult an attorney for this family matter.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I have had medical power of attorney and power of attorney for my 79 year old mother for 7 1/2 years, my sisters and brothers will not help with my Mom at all.

But, if she had made the MISTAKE that your husband's mom has now made, I would legally turn over whatever power of attorney she had given to me to the brother that is now (after 3 years) wanting to have a hand in taking care of her. Personally I couldn't handle the stress of "fighting" with one of my siblings because of it. In hind-sight your husband should have gotten the medical power of attorney three years ago too. Anyway, I would consult with a trusted attorney and make sure things were done legally. My Mom should have enough money to take care of her until she dies, but if you think your brother in law is going to spend through his mom's money and she will eventually have to live with one of her sons, then yes, I would take action immediately to see that it's the brother that is spending all of her money that gets the priviledge of caring for her 24/7.

You can bet that I don't ask my siblings their opinion on any matters pertaining to my mother's care; they aren't here, and they aren't breaking their backs taking care of her. Mom has lived with my husband and I for 6 1/2 years.

I hope she is/was a loving and kind mother to your husband.

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July 10, 20080 found this helpful

I agree with MCW. An attorney is needed to clear this up and inform each what his responsibility is. It would be a shame to have this split a family.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 10, 20080 found this helpful

Yes, an attorney is needed here. Also remember you live in Louisiana where the laws can be very different from other states. Louisiana has Napoleonic Law not Common Law, so many, many things seem 'backwards'. I too live in Lousiiana, Bossier City. Good luck.

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July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I am sorry to hear that your husband and his brother are having such difficulties. I'm sure the last thing their Mom would want was for her "boys" to be arguing over her. I assume that both have their Mom's best interest at heart. This is a time of great stress. I hope things calm down and that they can work together.
That said, I believe that it is unrealistic to think that the money will just run out and Mom will move in with her son. With Alzheimer's Mom may live a long time in a severely impaired state. Does the brother have the money and patients to provide care to a person who is totally incapacitated.
Has anyone thought about eventual nursing home care? As POA, has your husband looked into your state's medical assistance program to pay for Mom's care after her money runs out.

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

The attorney working with my mother-in-law's estate advised my husband to resign and just give it to my brother-in-law because he felt that it's going to get too nasty. I told my husband that he knows that his brother will not handle the money appropriately and eventually not do the right thing for their mother and then my husband will feel bad in the end because he promised his mother he would take care of her. My husband wants to put her in an Alzheimer's facility, but my brother-in-law is refusing because he said that he promised his parents he would never put them in a nursing home. My husband is trying to convince my brother-in-law that the promise was made before all these circumstances came about and now things are different.

My husband is trying to get her in a nice facility now while they have the money because if they wait until they run out of money and try to put her somewhere she will end up in a state run facility and those aren't usually the nicest places. But does anyone have the answer to my original question: If my husband gives my brother-in-law $10,000/month to run the household, does he have to be responsible for giving my husband receipts for what he spends. Does my husband have to mandate that he be given receipts every month before he gives him more money for the next month? My husband wants to just give him the money and not worry about the receipts and let him spend all the money and the quicker the money is spent, the quicker the brother-in-law has to move their mother out of the house so they can sell the house because the money is gone and the mother is forced to move in with the brother-in-law.

I know that if that happens, by then, the brother-in-law will end up sticking their mother in any nursing home that will take her, she won't qualify for Medicaid and I don't know how they will pay for it. So I just want to make sure that my husband won't get into trouble if he doesn't require his brother to give him receipts every month. Any answers will surely help with this horrible situation. Thanks, Susan

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 11, 20080 found this helpful

I really sympathize with both brothers. My brother and I shared power of attorney for my mother. We never fought over anything. We sat down together and worked out her needs and what we could afford to pay to meet those needs for as long as possible. It helped that our decisions and an accounting of how her money was spent was reviewed by her attorney's office. My brother ran her general finances and I ran her personal and medical accounts since she lived in my home. Both sets of accounts were submitted in writing to her attorney who in turn submitted periodic reports to our state court system. All any of us wanted was what was best for Mother.

That made it easy to problem solve together. We all discussed how best to utilize her available money in order to ensure the best care for the longest period of time. Fortunately, despite a year in a nursing home and then back to me for the final few months (with the help of hospice) her funds saw her through. It wasn't easy and at times required a real balancing act--and less sleep and more labor than I had ever anticipated. Together we were able to give her the best possible care for the available funds. It has been a great comfort to us now. I would suggest that both sides explore all available legal and counseling help available within your local court and social services systems. Everyone needs to work together for your mother-in-laws best good.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 10, 20080 found this helpful

I do not know about Louisiana law, but in NY you would need to document how Mom's money was spent to qualify for Medical Assistance.

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By guest (Guest Post)
August 23, 20080 found this helpful

With the level of money involved, I think you need to consult an attorney. The added benefit would be that there would be yet another cold, nasty person involved.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 21, 2017

My mom is 70 and I have been caring for her since last year in March 2016. I need to have a power of attorney because she goes to the bank and removes money and loses it and gives it away. The bank is giving me a hassle because she put a password on her account and changed her pin. On top of me not being able to pay her bills my husband and I are on a limited income.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 19, 2015

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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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

Discuss the matter with your Mom and ask if she would consent to you taking over paying her bills, etc. If you have power of attorney, is your name on her checking account? If so, you wouldn't have to transfer money to your account to pay bills, you could just use her checking account.

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June 2, 20110 found this helpful

My husband and I were granted power of attorney from my brother-in-law since he is now in a nursing home. I pay all of his bills through his checking account. All I down is sign my name on his checks and print P.O.A. after my signature. A power of attorney gives you the legal right to take care of all finances while the person is still alive.

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June 3, 20110 found this helpful

While a POA would give you the right to transfer the money, that is probably not necessary, as the other posters have said. If you do transfer it, be very clear to keep an accounting of the amounts transferred and what you used the money for so that it is clear that you are not using the money for your own personal expenses. This is especially important if you have siblings or other relatives who may have an interest in your mother's affairs.

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Anonymous
June 3, 20110 found this helpful

I also recommend talking to your mom about this first. Is your mom incompetent in general or do you just not like the choices she makes of spending her money? Perhaps you could see how she would feel about you paying her bills and maybe even doing her shopping (groceries and otherwise) for her and give her a weekly allowance of cash to spend as she pleases. That way you would have more control by having her checkbook and debit card, it would save her the chore of paying bills and doing shopping and she would still feel in control of her life by having some cash on hand.

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June 4, 20110 found this helpful

You might talk to a bank officer at your mom's bank.They have more experience with POAs over their accounts, and they can advise you. Sometimes professional advice is the thriftiest way to go.

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June 5, 20110 found this helpful

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).

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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2010

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

By Loretta from IL

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August 11, 20100 found this helpful

I beleive the answer would be no. But others might have more info or you may find more info on the internet somewhere. Like Ask.com

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Anonymous
August 13, 20100 found this helpful

I honestly don't know about legally but morally I think they should! This is a question best asked from the heart or from an attorney.

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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

Hello,
The answer is yes. Other siblings have a right to know and if you don't provide them with the information, they can take you to court to get any answers they need to know.

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August 14, 20100 found this helpful

I cant answer legally as I am not a lawyer, but I think if you respect family unity, I would do so. Ask yourself how you would feel if the situation were reversed.

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August 15, 20100 found this helpful

No they don't, unfortunately!

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August 16, 20100 found this helpful

I don't know what the legal responsibility would be, but unless there is a greedy sibling trying to get something that does not belong to them, I would share as much info as possible to keep peace.

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September 4, 20100 found this helpful

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

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By 0 found this helpful
August 31, 2015

Using his power of attorney, thinking he is protecting her assets from Medicare, my brother put my mother's stocks into his own account without my knowledge or hers. I have power of attorney as well. He refused to make it a joint account after she and I found out. He just promises he will give me my share when the time comes. He is using the dividends to pay some of her bills - not his own use. Was this legal? Should I trust him?
We are on good terms, but when it comes to money no one knows.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 27, 2017

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.

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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By 0 found this helpful
October 12, 2015

My dad is in a nursing home and his attorney in fact died. My dad's brother is now conviced that he can be in charge of my dad's money and get power of attorney. He is 70 years old has been schizophrenic since childhood and has also filled for bankruptcy in the past. If he gets in charge of my dad's money he will steal it. Is there anything I can do to stop him from getting charge of my dad's money? Will the court even consider giving him power of attorney? Can he be appointed without me knowing?

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By 1 found this helpful
January 20, 2014

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

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May 3, 20120 found this helpful

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

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May 3, 20120 found this helpful

I am hardly an attorney - but it would seem that this circumstance - your father's father becoming less competent is the precise reason powers of attorney are given - no? I would think that if the man in question has been deemed to have Alzheimers, he would be unable to change a power of attorney without legal motions - I recommend the Nolo Press series of self-help books for research (They also have a website).

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May 5, 20120 found this helpful

This is the precise reason one gives the power of attorney over to another. Contact an attorney--consultations are usually free. You grandfather was in sound mind when he made his choice, and he wanted your father to be in charge of his decisions.

The only reason I think the court would consider revoking someone's wishes of POA, is if that person had done something dubious, illegal, or had a history of really bad decisions - especially ones made after POA had been given. This sounds like someone is jealous and wants to be in charge, not a good reason for a judge to change a legal decision.

If your grandfather still has lucid moments, ask him if he wants your father (or the other person) to be in charge still, and tape it - or better yet, have another, unrelated person witness him stating it.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 23, 2016

I am a Georgia resident. I am the oldest of 3 girls. Mother has had a hospital emergency. I, the big sister, was the only one that called 911, took her to the hospital, stayed, and then checked her in to find out what was wrong. The youngest sister has power of attorney. The hospital says even though I brought her to ER the sister with POA can only be spoken with unless the sister w/POA gives me permission to handle things at the hospital. Is that true? Neither of the 2 younger sisters even came to hopsital at all, the ER day, to assist me in any way. There is something wrong here yes? Would like some guidance.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 13, 2015

My mother fell and broke her hip. She gave me power of attorney over her. She has a grandson staying in her home. He doesn't pay rent he just stays there, he has no job, and depends on my mother for money. How do we go about getting him out of the home?

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By 0 found this helpful
October 7, 2015

I was appointed my grandparents' POA 10 years ago. My grandmother passed on 7 years ago. They have no living children. My sister and I are the only grandchildren from their only son who passed on 10 years ago. Granddad has been falling and has broken ribs. Doctors are evaluating him in a rehab facility. He is 89 years old with no terminal illness at this time, but continues to get weaker and not able to live alone. We are hoping the therapy will help so he can go home with home care help.

My grandmother always handled all the finances and my grandfather has never dealt with it. I picked up my grandmother's responsibility of the finances to help granddad when she past on. I have a 23 year old nephew that lives with granddad, but is no help for the care he needs. My nephew guilts granddad into paying his bills and constantly giving him money. I can't balance the accounts because of the extra money my granddad hands over to the nephew all the time.

We know home care is going to be expensive and need all the funds so granddad gets what he needs. I have talked to him about this so many times and he said my grandmother's dying wish was for him to take of and not let anyone run over the nephew. I am mentally exhausted and don't know what else to do. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

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April 5, 20150 found this helpful

My husband's mother has dementia, but her doctor says it is not bad enough that she can't make her own decisions. We live in another state and my husband's aunt has been taking care of his mother. She disagrees with the doctor and thinks that mother needs to be in a nursing home. My husband agrees. Does the power of attorney give him the right to put her in the nursing home without her wanting that? They have tried to have Meals on Wheels come and also visiting nurses to help her out, but she is refusing all help. She is 84 and forgets everything. She will have a conversation with you and repeat the same thing 3 times within 5 minutes. She really can't take care of herself and the aunt is not able to continue helping her.

By Lisa M

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March 11, 20150 found this helpful

My husband's grandfather made a will and left us his house in his will. His daughter's husband is the POA and they want to sell the house to pay for assisted living even thought he has money without selling the house. What are my husband's rights as far as inheriting the house?
Can we contest them selling the house out from under us?

By A

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March 7, 20150 found this helpful

I just recently received POA for my grandmother who has Alzheimer's. Can I still go on vacation? I've been planning this trip for awhile. I would be gone for a week.

By Cathy

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

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

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July 26, 20110 found this helpful

I don't know about the legalities of it; but am struck by the dilemma your family is facing. Before you say anything to the brother with POA or your other siblings, bear in mind that families can fracture over such situations. You will need to decide if a few thousand dollars (or less, split many ways) is worth losing family relations over. Sometimes, once the glue that held the family together (your parents) is gone, it is far too easy to lose the relationship with siblings. I don't mean to sound preachy; but just wanted to throw a reminder your way, during a tough time. Good luck to you all.

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

I hope you read this. POA ENDS with the person's death. The administrator takes over and the will is probated. If your brother is also the administrator you may live in a state that requires a lawyer to assist him. If so, the lawyer will see that the will is carried out correctly. The courts must approve the administrator when the will is probated.

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July 27, 20110 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 14, 2015

My brother, who was incarcerated, asked me to be his POA. He is now out on parole and is still asking me to do things on his behalf. As POA am I a target if anything goes wrong? For example, bad business dealings on his part. I am helping him somewhat financially and do not want to be part of any bad dealings.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 11, 2015

My mother died 9 months ago, she was in a car accident had a few strokes, had diabetes and was bed ridden for 4 years. In the mean time, my sister obtained power of attorney and moved money around and even destroyed a will that was in a drop box at a local bank. My sister took $67,000.00 and bought a forclosure home right out in Arizona, she put the house in her daughter's name and grandkids names. She also moved money from one bank to another and out to a bank to Arizona which has my sister's daughter's name on it, the amount we are talking about is 1 million dollars. My sister made a will but my mom refused to sign it and my sister's lawyer refuses to send copy. Is their any thing I can do about any of this since she did buy a house with our moms money while my mom was still alive and then took both properties and all the money that my mom had already had divided out?

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By 0 found this helpful
July 23, 2015

My sister went to her attorney and got a POA on our mother and she never discussed with me. The only way I found out was that she let it slip out of her mouth. I was shocked, I was really hurt by this. I know my mom has Alzheimer's, but I asked my mom did she sign any papers and she yes, but she didn't know what she signed. I just don't know why my sister did this. It is only the two of us and I am the oldest. What can I do about this?

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By 0 found this helpful
May 19, 2015

My husband is in jail and needs a criminal defense attorney. The property is only in his name and he wants me to try to sell it. He wants to give me POA so I can try to sell it.

How would I go about doing this?

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By 0 found this helpful
April 23, 2015

My mother-in-law got a POA for her brother after he was hit by a car. He gets a disability check every month. When he got out of the hospital, he moved in with my mother-in-law and father-in-law. After 3 months they had to put him in a nursing home, because he was getting violent. Now that he is in a nursing home his insurance pays for his stay, so his disability check will still be coming in each month. My father-in-law strongly belives that they are able to spend his money just because he can't. I told him it doesn't matter if he can't spend it, it doesn't give you the right to spend it either. That my mother-in-law can spend it on things he needs and that's it.

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March 11, 20150 found this helpful

I have a medical POA for my father. Can my family come into my home and take my father and put him in a home when I disagree?

By Anna

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful

I have taken care of my mother's finances since my dad passed away 21 years ago. Only recently I became POA for her finances. I gave up the POA to my sister after we fought. I was told that I have to account for all checks made out to me (they were for her meds and living expenses that I paid for and then got reinbursed for). Do I need to go back 21 years or just as far as when I became financial POA?

By Marie

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

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

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January 26, 20150 found this helpful

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

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January 22, 20150 found this helpful

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

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