What can I do if my ex-husband appointed his son as power of attorney while suffering from Alzheimer's?

Follow
Share

What do I do when my ex husband to be of 27 years appointed his son to be his POA when he was in the throws of alzhiemers?we have been married 27 years,,my husbands son talked him in to allowing him POA,,about a year ago,,we had no money for a year due to this and we had no food and the bills and mortgage were not paid for the last 2 months,,his son packed him up and I was abandoned without a cent,my case is now in the hands of the court and my husband does not want his son to remain his POA,,they are not speaking now, they moved him to a different town where he lives alone,,he has called me and is distaught, and wants me to recieve the half of his pension he has been recieveing for 13 years, and wants his son out of his life,,,what are my chances of recieving what by law I am intitled too, I am 64 years old and am a breast cancer survivor,,,also under psychiatric care for 13 years and can not hold a full time job at this point....we have a case management hearing on the 16th of January,,his son will be there, can I speak my mind to the judge? can a POA be reversed in my favor if my husband wants to revoke his sons POA rights? thanks
Judi

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
26

Answers

Show:
1 2 3
Oh!! That is a tough mess!
About Soon-Ex:
Yes, POA's can be revoked at any time by the person--IF they are competent to do it, and IF one gets him to where he can sign new ones for you or whoever.

HOW far into Alzheimer's was he, when he signed to make his son POA?

WHO witnessed that he has Alzheimer's --HOW is that documented, by whom, and WHERE? [medical records might help show his conditions might make the son's legal documents invalid; you might need to get copies of those records for legal defense of your application to be his POA]

HAD he been declared incompetent, WHEN, related to when that POA was signed?

IF he has been declared incompetent, NO ONE but a judge, can change that POA after reviewing the whole case.

IF DH has NOT yet been declared incompetent, all it takes is for him to go with whoever, to another notary to sign new documents making someone else his POA.

A Doctor has to diagnose Alzheimers or dementia, AND, is the one to pronounce a person "incompetent". Once that's been done, it's more complicated to get it changed.
Since his son did what he did, and moved him away, that kinda sounds like he's already put those ducks in a row in advance to try to prevent any changes [he thinks].

Very confused people can APPEAR to be fully able and willing to sign documents before a Notary.
Notaries might miss signs of confusion, especially when a familiar person is leading them by the hand, and, they rarely refuse to notarize, unless behaviors are really glaring--even then, they can miss things.

IF your spouse still has some of his marbles, and can stand in front of a judge and tell, coherently, that he wants you to be his POA, you might get it.

LEGAL HELP:
Whether the judge will let you speak, is another matter:
YOU need legal assistance sitting on your side of the fence!
STRONGLY suggested: if you have not yet, DO it.
See if you can get it on contingency [help now, pay later].
OR, seek free legal help via Welfare office.
Advice:
Contact your nearest Area Agency on Aging, make an appointment with one of their volunteer attorneys. Bring your scenario to that appointment, and your questions. Not all lawyers that volunteer, specialize in all types of cases; you might get referred to someone who is better able to handle your case.

Legal help represents YOU, not anyone else.
Takes your presentation to the judge for you, and knows how to present it.
It sounds like you need that, to get what you are supposed to get as a spouse of long-standing.
AND, legal help can better help, IF his son has already had him legally declared incompetent to prevent you from taking it back.

THIRD possibility:
The Judge MIGHT assign conservatorship to a 3rd party--perhaps someone who's job it is, to take care of funds for confused elders.
There are people who get paid to do that, instead of relatives and friends who might be biased.
Though it costs a bit, That might be a better option for you, than his son handling things--your legal help, as a last-ditch end-run, might bring that up as a non-biased solution to the issues.

FOR YOUR SURVIVAL:
Have you applied for Social Security Disability long ago [when your disabilities cropped up]?
If not, Why?
IT's kinda late, but it might help you even a little bit--
===OR, SSA will just tell you to file for early retirement and start collecting your regular SSI--that gets you Medicare for medical--better than nothing.
You will need to also find a cheap Part D Plan to sign up for, as well, for starters.

If you are under-income, the Federal Gov't will subsidize your Medicare monthly premiums [about $100/mo.], so those won't be deducted from your SSI check monthly--you will have to apply for that via your local Welfare [DSHS] office--they administer that program.
Part D is on you, though---as far as I know, the Walmart Part D program is the cheapest--around $10 or $15/month---you need to sign up for that the minute you get the letter your Medicare has started---OR----you have to be otherwise subscribed to a "creditable pharmacy coverage" instead.
When you sign up for a Part D program, have them auto-debit it from your bank account--auto-debits from checking are easier to change if need-----NOT from your SSI check--that's a bit harder to change, if needed, later.

IF you have too much assets, those can potentially prevent your getting help via DSHS: you might have to "spend-down" assets to qualify for help from them.
But even with certain assets, there may be some helps you can access.

Please get legal help--not only to help with that mess with your DH soon to be Ex, but to help you manage whatever resources you have left, help rescue your situation so you have your needs met, too--even if you end up with nothing from Ex-DH.
You need an Advocate to help you arrange your life to support you as best able.

I hope you get the help you need!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Can your husband go to an attorney or someone from social work or clergy that can help him regain his power of attorney. Having Alzheimer does not mean he cannot ask for the changes in who makes decisions for him about his health and his finances. An attorney can help you and an attorney can help your husband. It is evident that his son is not meeting his needs and he can show this or you can. Collect as much information as you can. Get names of neighbors, friends, doctors, etc.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Every state has different laws and different requirements. Did his son have an attorney draw up the Power of Attorney? If so, I wonder if the attorney paid close attention to your husband's condition and if the attorney was aware that there was a strong possibility that your husband lacked the competence to make such changes. If a good attorney suspects a lack of competence, the attorney would reject making any changes to an estate plan until the person is evaluated by a physician and has a letter from that physician stating that the person is of sound mind. All attorneys, in every state, should follow this rule since so many elderly people suffer from cognitive decline. At this point, I would have a physician evaluate your husband's competence and try to determine if it was possible if your husband could have understood what he was doing when his son had him do a new Power of Attorney. If at all possible, get the physician to do a written report and have your attorney submit it to the judge as evidence. Additionally, if your husband is competent enough to explain that he no longer wants his son involved as Power of Attorney and he wants to be with you that could persuade a judge. As far as his pension usually a beneficiary is named through the employer. I would try to find out from the employer, but they may not give that information directly to you. Some pensions work where the employee elects to have less paid out to the employee so the spouse can continue receiving benefits if the employee dies. Or, an employee can elect to get more benefits while the employee is alive, but benefits then stop after the employees death. The employer will have all that information. I hope it all works out for you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If you read the documents, Judi, you would see that a POA can be revoked at anytime by the donor. Get the lawyer on the phone. Have him or her draw up new documents. Sign them in the presence of a Notary Public. Take your copy home with you.
Sorry to hear about your illness.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

All states have legal rights for spouses and ex-spouses, regardless of the will or POA. Also if he receives a pension you are entitled to a certain percentage regardless of POA. Check with his former employer.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Excellent points about the duties of a notary public. I looked up on Wikipedia and the oath the Notary signs attests that the person is proven to be that person and that they have said they are signing voluntarily. Nothing about whether they understand it or not. So a lawyer could easily contest anything thus signed. I think there are two types of cases that we are discussing, the primary question asker was asking about someone who probably cannot afford an atty. Or doesn't really have enough assets to need one. That is sad, because someone whose estate can't afford an atty needs those assets, even if it is only a monthly pension check more than than one who can (afford an atty). In that case, beat a path to the office of whoever is in charge of protecting seniors at your county health office.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Having gone through the very same situation in California, I would suggest hiring a lawyer that is on the super attorneys list who specializes in will contests. I had a very wealthy relative suffering from advance states of Dementia. Unfortunately, he had an attorney who wanted control over his estate and allowed him to make critical changes to his estate planning. These changes allowed his attorney to be a trustee, who benefited from the changes and allowed him access to all his valuable antiques. I tried to correct this problem, but unfortunately the attorneys assisting me made some legal errors, which barred the contest from moving forward. Therefore, everything my relative tried to protect while he was of sound mind was all undone by his attorney when he was severely mentally incompetent. There was no further legal recourse and the State Bar of California does very little to unethical attorneys. This attorney acted as a trustee in many of his clients estates, which is allowed in California. Every state is different, but I suggest the best solution for a favorable outcome is hire the best attorneys who specialize in will contests. They would be the best professionals to handle this situation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I will not get into it, but I can assure you that here in California, you do need to know what is being signed and by who. If they have the mental status to know what they are signing. Believe it or not they do.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

The duty of a Notary Public is to witness a signature, attest to its veritability and compare the signature to other previously signed signatures from the same person. No way does the Notary need to know anything about the person, the contents of the documents or anything else.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Here in the state of California, if a notary signs a POA without making sure that the peron signing is coherant enough to understand what in deed they are signing can loose their license (appointment). I have not dealt with the attny involvement but I asume it is the same for them. There are some shady people out there that will rip off a family member for thousands of dollars, so that is why an attny, court etc must be sure. I don't know in other states as I never held a license anywhere but California. Notary's are licensed by the state and must follow all the rules even if they know the family. I got called in to notarize a POA for a friend on Hospice and I still had to ask the questions and believe me that was hard but he did answer all the questions put to him. He passed 4 days later. Point is he did answer all the questions with other friends around to witness the answers since he was a close friend I wanted witnesses that if anything was ever in doudt, Others could affirm that the answers we given.These questions are only necessary if the notary feels that there is a need or if the person resides in a NH
already. You get the point. Not everone is asked the questions but alot are.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

1 2 3
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions