Can a Power of Attorney go into my mother's stuff and sell some of her assets?

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My mother's POA is her husband (not the father of her children). He is considerably older than she is; he, as well as my sister, pushed to let her die according to her living will even though she shook her head "no" twice when he asked her (twice). Now he and my sister are delving into her funds, selling some of her assets without her input. What rights does she have? Can a POA do this?

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Yes, "let her die" means stripping all medical "stuff" from her and putting her on palliative care. No antibiotic, no feeding tube, no IV, nothing. Yes, it was against her wishes, but they kept saying she was confused. They didn't believe she was rational. She is in rehab now.

I'm not involved in the financial dealings, so I have no clue there. Her care is paid for, for the first 100 days. But Mother needs to have a voice in whatever they do, what they sell, etc.

So there are forms to fill out to change the POA? And what's the difference between that and the "Durable POA?"
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You might want to check with a lawyer. Since you would have some opposition (I assume) it is important you have your legal options clearly defined. You could also get the appropriate forms to have available IF Mother wants to change POA.

What are Husband and Sister using the assets for? Is this going toward Mother's care? What would she prefer?

Are you planning to visit Mother frequently? It might be hard to act on her behalf with her input if it is so troublesome to communicate with her over the phone.

What do you mean by "let her die."? Were they turning down some treatment such as feeding tube, certain drugs, refusing physical therapy, not treating her for pneumonia, etc? Do you mean they put her on palliative care against her wishes? Does Mother want more aggressive treatment? Are more aggressive treatments available? I'm having a hard time visualizing what "let her die" means in this context. Did the doctor who assured her offer to remove her from palliative care?
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Thanks for answering, Jeanne. My mother has had a bad stroke, and is left unable to talk. I can make out a few words here and there. But her husband and my sister wanted to put her living will into effect and let her die. Husband mentioned it twice to her and she shook her head "no" both times. I saw that, and didn't want to let her die. But Husband's response was, "Well, she doesn't know what she's talking about." My sister agreed. I did not, but there was nothing I could do. So I fought for Mother to make her own decisions -- and won. A doctor finally reassessed her while she was on palliative care, and declared her competent to make her own decisions.

However, her right side is also affected and she has double vision. She can't write left-handed; and it's hard for her (right now) to finger-peck the correct keys on a keyboard because of the vision issue. So we're left with her spelling words on a letter chart, or trying to catch her words and asking "yes" and "no" questions.

My issue is that Mother should be the one to say what goes even in the financial realm, as she is the business woman and her husband doesn't have a clue what's going on in that realm.

So the POA does have the right to finances? Isn't there something called the "Durable POA," and what is that if not finances?

As for changing the POA, I am communicating with her via phone, and it's hard to talk about heavy issues like this when I can't hear what she is saying. I plan to visit, but want to know what's available and legal before I mention it to her.
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I am a little confused about the living will thing. Was she near death at some point? Is this related to selling the assets?

What kind of input is your mother capable of giving? Is she competent to make her own decisions? Does she have a problem communicating -- you mention her shaking her head when a statement would be expected.

Yes, the POA can make financial decisions in your mother's interest. He can't cash in some asset and then buy himself a boat or his mistress a mink coat, but he can do what he thinks best to provide for her needs.

It sounds like you and your sister have different ideas about what is best for your mother. It also sounds like your mother put some of her decisions about what is best for her into a living will, and that she designated her husband to make decisions when she could not. Have you expressed your concerns to your mother's husband and your sister? Have they explained their thinking to you?

I hope the fact that there are different opinions on the table does not lead to alienation within the family.

One right your mother definitely has IF she is cometent in the legal sense to make her own decisions, is to change the POA. Do you think she wants this?
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