My sister-in-law gave her niece power of attorney, but my brother is alive and well and competent. Can he do anything about this?

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My sister-in-law is very critical in a hosp. My brother is alive and well and competent. She gave her niece power of attorney. Niece states that she has the authority to make any decisions over my brother. That he is unable to make the right choice in finances and her care and will take over any decisions that he has to make. Being presently under stress and perplexed he is afraid that she is going to take over all matters and doesn't know what he can do to stop her. I appreciate any advise to help him resolve this situation.

Answers 1 to 10 of 10
Moodyblu, your sister-in-law gave Power of Attorney to her daughter instead of her husband for some reason.

Your brother's wife can still be in very critical condition, and if her mind is clear, she can still make decisions for herself. If her mind isn't clear, then the daughter needs to step in to make those decisions for her mother. It would be nice if your niece would discuss Mom's medical issues with her Dad. But if your brother is overwhelmed and cannot thinking clearly due to stress, then I can see their daughter stepping in to help out.
I'm confused. Did your SIL allegedly grant proxy authority to her daughter, for decisions on behalf of her husband, your brother? She has no authority to do this. Only your brother can grant proxy authority. If he's able to make his decisions, he doesn't need his wife meddling in his affairs by illegally granting authority to their daughter.

....if this is the situation; it's not entirely clear to me though who gave authority to whom. Could you clarify?
Are we talking about POA financial or medical? The legal substitute decision maker has the final say about any treatment options when someone isn't able to express their own wishes. Financial POA is a different issue, and although as POA she can step in to pay her aunt's bills or renew/make investments she has no say over her uncle's finances.My advice is to keep the lines of communication open and friendly and try to work collaboratively with her.
Top Answer
Moody, please come back and clear this up.

Did DIL grant power of Attorney to her daughter instead of to her husband?

Or did DIL think that she granted pos to her daughter OVER her husband. The only person who can grant pos is the person themselves.

I believe that you mean the first scenario.

In my family, my daughter has poa, med and financial, because I know my husband would not be able to or inclined to sign hospice papers for me, nor would he ever stop treatment.

My daughter will be more clearheaded when the time comes.

Of course, I have discussed this with my husband!
Read the actual POA. Usually it is only for the finances of the person who granted the POA. Maybe you are thinking of a Health Care Proxy which is totally different. Brother needs to sit down with an attorney to protect his own rights if he thinks they are being infringed.
Your SIL have HER niece or YOUR niece POA? Financial and/or Medical? Is the person with POA overstepping the role she was assigned? A little clarification would help here.
In regard to my question about power of attorney given to my sister-in-law's niece. My brother is well and very competent and is able to handle any financial or personal affairs that should arise. He should be the lst choice in having this P.O.A. instead of the niece. Believe that the only time the niece can enforce this P.O.A. is when both of them are deceased. Presently my sis-n-law is not in the position to make good decisions but the niece seems to think she has full control of the situation over my brother.
Only your sister-in-law can give anyone the POA. It is not a matter of who should have been first choice. Most married people give it to their spouse. For some reason, she chose not to give it to your brother. Also, the POA is not enforceable upon the person's death. The niece only has the authority that the POA gives her as it concerns your sister in law and no authority concerning your brother. Only being the executor of an estate is enforceable upon death.
Blu, fortunately or unfortunately, only your SIL can determine who she wants to represent her. While your brother might have been a better choice, it's not his or your decision.

Whether the niece can act now depends on whether the POA is a DPOA or not, and perhaps other conditions as specific in the document. Have you seen it, and if so, are there contingencies, such as that SIL must have been declared incompetent for the proxy (niece) to act?

If there's friction with the niece and she's not handling issues correctly, I'm assuming that a meeting with her to offer help in handling SIS's affairs or help in decision making wouldn't be fruitful? Sometimes peacekeeping efforts can work, sometimes not.

As others have asked, is this a medical or financial POA? It makes a big difference.
A woman in my support group encouraged her husband (dementia) to name as his healthcare POA their son's best friend. Some might think she should have had her husband name her, or name their son. Both their son and his friend were physicians. Her reasoning was that she wanted someone that healthcare professionals would have to give reasonable explanations to and who could understand those explanations.  She didn't want her son to have the emotional burden of making decisions for his father. This worked very well for them.

A person can name anyone over 18 to be POA (medical and/or financial). It does not have to be a relative at all. The person named has all the authority conferred by the document. It really doesn't matter that someone else is more closely related.

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