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My mother is 81 years old and has a diagnosis of Dementia probable Alzheimer's. My mother has 5 children. We went to a lawyer and had set up for the 2 boys to be poa over financial and the 3 girls to be poa over her health. Recently 2 of the children took my mother to the same attorney who helped us set up the poa's and had him take off all but two names, so now out of the 5 children only 2 are in charge. Is it ethical for this same attorney, knowing that she had 5 children(we had all met with him the first time) to go ahead and reissue another poa with only 2 of those children present? Those 2 children knowingly took my mother there to change things to their benefit, they were aware of and had copies of my mothers diagnosis. Is there any legal charges the remaining 3 of us can file?

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Bonniebett, what strikes me is the sheer impracticality of your mother's original set up. POA by committee would create a living nightmare for whichever one person ended up with the day to day management of your mother's care. My mother gave joint POA to my older brother and sister, back in the days when she imagined it would only ever be hypothetical anyway, and the pig's breakfast that resulted was a massive headache for me, the caregiver, but also for them. Joint signatures on everything is not great if anyone wants to travel out of the country, go on vacation or just be busy.

But I understand that you're unhappy with the way your siblings went about changing the arrangement. What do they say when you tell them about your concerns?
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Both the healthcare and financial poa upset me. Dishonesty is not the best policy. While I understand that one person handling it might be a better idea, what frustrates me once again is the dishonesty of it all. Both the new POA's said "no secrets" but in fact there are secrets. That's very frustrating, and now we who are left wonder what other secrets may be lurking.
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ramiller, yes everyone who was formerly on the POA documents needs to be informed ... after the fact. There is no need to discuss a potential change with them beforehand. That is a very big distinction. Notified, yes. Asked for consent, no.
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As ohJude said, being POA can be a lot of work. I am both financial and medical DPOA for my mother. Today is "end of the month day" for me. Several hours will be devoted to bill paying, ledger updating etc. In the next week I will start preparing for moms taxes - even with moms accountant doing the heavy lifting many hours of my time will be devoted to gathering info, breaking down deductions etc. In the past few weeks I spent hours on the phone arranging dr appointments, talking to hospice people etc. However - as tough as this "job" can be, I'm pretty sure it would be 1000x worse if I had to run everything by a few other people. There is that saying "too many chefs in the kitchen spoil the soup". It definitely applies in this situation, in my opinion. Especially in terms of finances - how many hands do you want in the piggy bank? If there's a mess up with my moms money - anything suspicious, there's no wondering- it could only be me. Quite honestly, if I had to share this job, I wouldn't be doing it. I agree that the two siblings went about this in the worst possible way. Which brings me to the age old question- does the end justify the means?
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While many of you are saying no one needs to notify anyone of poa change and that may be true, to make the change in secret does raise questions as to motive. A decent person would let those releived of the duty know about it. This would help avoid embarassing scenes if something happened and all were at hospital, then you find out you have no say in what happens because someone took you off, that would make me upset. I do agree that having everyone as joint poa is a bad idea but to change without notifying others was not kind. Is it the heathcare poa or financial poa that upsets you most?
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freqflyer, many states have reciprocity agreements to honor POA documents when someone moves. And generally is a will is valid in the state of residence when it was drawn up it is most likely valid in all other states. (If it wasn't valid in the original state, that changes things.)

You raise an interesting concept about moving from one state to another. It might be worth it for bonniebelle to check this out, but it is seldom an issue.
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Bonniebell said, "True, one person would have been ideal. But it was set up that way at my mom's insistence, and to have changed it without the consent of everyone involved was such a bad deal."

There is absolutely no need, legal or moral, to discuss changes to the POA document with anybody. It makes sense that it should be discussed with the person who is being given new responsibility. It is not necessary to discuss it beforehand with people being removed from responsibility. The notion that everyone involved has to "consent" is total nonsense.

Let us say, as an example, that you have named one sister as your primary POA and a brother as the secondary. But you really would prefer to have a cousin in this role. You didn't name her before because she was so young. But years have gone by and you decide to make her your primary POA now. Do you have to discuss this with your sister and brother? No. Do you have to explain why you are doing this? No. (But you might want to for the sake of family harmony.) Do you need the consent of your sister to replace her? Absolutely not! The POA is YOUR document. Nobody else has any "rights" concerning it.
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i took my mom to the bank to transfer 10 k out of my oldest sisters name and into mine . we wanted to gift oldest sis the house free and clear and if shed gotten her hands on the ten k first , shed have blown it in a matter of hours .
the ten k went to the younger sister . and the older sis got the house . sometimes you just have to exclude some siblings from the final decision making . you dont need the drama your likely to get from them .
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Okay, now we are getting to the heart of the matter. "The 2 can't be trusted." What do you think they might do that would be contrary to your mother's wishes? Do you think the financial POA is going to steal from her? That the healthcare proxy is going to disregard her DNR (or insist on DNR treatment even if she doesn't have one)? What, exactly, are you afraid they'll do. What is the evidence of that likelihood?

It may be that these two read that it is a terrible, awful, and potentially dangerous idea to have more than one person as primary POA. (It is.) And they decided to explain to Mother that it would be better to have one person in charge. When they went to the lawyer, the lawyer was satisfied that IN THAT MOMENT mother understood what she was doing. It wouldn't matter that Mother couldn't tell him how she got there or that she wouldn't remember what she told him in half an hour. At the time she was in his/her presence she showed she understood that now one person would act in her behalf if/when she could not.

This is perfectly legal, at least insofar as what happened in the lawyer's office.

Now, "she was forced to do it" -- that would be illegal. But you weren't there, right? And you can't ask her for reasons you explain. So, how do you know she was forced? And more importantly, what evidence do you have to prove it?

Having three people equally in charge of medical decisions is a disaster waiting to happen. It means any one person has absolute veto power. Having a person who can't be trusted as the primary decision-maker is also a bad idea. Again, apparently Mother trusts this person. What do you fear this person will do that won't be in your mother's best interest?

I can see why having this done behind your back is upsetting. But I can't see that you have any grounds for legal action, or that this change is necessarily bad for your mother.

Please accept this change gracefully and don't let it drive wedges in family dynamics.
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Bonnie, if your Mom had signed a Power of Attorney, and possibly a Will in one State, but moved to another State to live with her granddaughter, she might need to draw up new Power of Attorneys and Will for the State where she now resides. Every State has their own rules.

Check with Mom's attorney to see if she was able cross from one State to this other State with her POA/Will if the rules are similar.
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