How to protect my aunt's property.

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My 82 year old aunt is currently in a nursing home facility for rehabilitation. She also has a mild case of demetia. We do not expect her to be returning to her apartment. At this point we are still paying rent for her apartment and will continue to do so through December. I am her niece and she has granted me POA. She has a granddaughter that has not been very involved in the process since she became ill. When the time comes to clean out her unit, I am not sure who has right to what items? She has a lot of antiques and I do not just want those items be donated to charity. She does have a will so I do not want people to just stake claims on items. I want to put her things in storage until we can figure out a plan to make sure all her things are taken well care.


If you have the POA you can do that with her items. I would strongly recommend getting an outside, objective person to do a video inventory as well as paper/photo listing so when it is time to read the will nothing is "missing" with all eyes on you. I am surprised at the stories I hear of false accusations of theft by family members. I just learned that once the person giving the POA passes, the paper is void. At that point you will have NO say, so do what you need to do now. Bless you for caring enough to take action, most people talk talk talk, very few care enough to act.
Yes. poa will end when your aunt passes and they will refer to the "will" the listing and photos and videos are great suggestion because all eyes will be on you for sure! I don't know if you can acquire a copy of the will before one dies and distribute the items now or not, thus perhaps saving money on storage.
Before giving up her apartment, I would verify for myself that your aunt needs to stop living on her own. If she does need a nursing home at 82 she will be there for the rest of her life which could be a very long time.

As POA you should be able to pay her bills, rent an apartment or buy her a slot in an assisted living facility (providing she has significant savings). If she can manage to stay in her apartment with home health aides and/or companions you can use her income (social security, pensions, investment income) to pay for the home health aides to be with her. This arrangement is generally far less costly if her health permits it.

Given the high prices for NH and ALF, I would keep her in her apartment with
full time aides if possible. However, you may need to do a placement. As POA you will be dealing with signing her up for Medicaid as she exhausts her funds on the NH and ALF expenses.

Lastly if she was in the military or has a spouse who served investigate if she can qualify for a program called "Aid and Assistance" which may help pay for home health aide services.

Good Luck. You will learn alot helping your aunt.
If you have a DURABLE POA you have few problems, if it is not durable the POA has little value.
Are you absolutely sure that your aunt will not be returning to her apartment to live or visit? If so, then I'll go along with the above suggestion that you video tape her inventory of personal property and vacate the apartment after all has been taken care of. Is storage considerably less than her rent? Gather the will now, and make copies for the lawyer and anyone else named in the will. No need to distribute until after she passes.
Perhaps a little off topic, but along the same lines, my mother-in-law to be is now 86 and has been suffering from Alzheimer's for about 2 years now. She has incurred debt in rebuilding her home after Katrina. It was a total loss and had to be rebuilt from the studs up and down. All new electric, all new ac and heating all new roof, all new floors all new walls, etc. The question is her son, my fiancee, is the only heir, and will inherit the house, which is the only asset of the estate. My question is will he be responsible for her debt as well?
i do not believe he is responsible for her debt unless it is a joint account/joint mortage etc etc. I know I was also worried about this as it relates to my mom...I had visions of losing all of my $$ to pay her things...
The house is paid for, so there is no mortgage and I don't believe they have a joint checking account. If he does, should he close it? We were wiped out by Katrina and the Road Home Program (what a joke that was), have had our house foreclosed on and don't want to lose his childhood home which we have worked our fingers to the bone getting back together. We are still working on in a little at a time. So somehow, I want to make sure we don't lose this house and we are not responsible for the debts in her name.
Proceed cautiously. As POA you can be SUED, and anything you may get out of the estate may pale in comparison to your personal legal bills. Too bad she didn't give away her things while she still could have made the decisions.
I get free legal since I am in the business so I am not so worried about that. I just need to know what needs to be done now so we don't lose the house and we don't become responsible for her debts.

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