Hello, my aunt has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s (limited capacity) and is currently in a nursing home to recover for a recent illness. My sister and I have recently gained DPOA (financial and health). At tis time we discovered from our attorney that my aunt’s house is in a trust with our cousin named as the trustee. Therefore we with DPOA cannot touch the house because it is protected. We called our cousin and informed her that with our aunt's declining health that she'll need to sell her home soon to pay for health care aids or assisted living in the near future. Our cousin refuses to transfer trustee power to us or to sell the house to provide funds for our aunt. She claims she wants to follow our aunt's wishes of giving all her money to the poor. (BS) Is there anything we can do? Can we get the court involved to take over her assets (if so can we have the court control all assets – I don’t want to start a family feud – I don’t want any money or any inheritance, just protect my aunt from being kicked out on the street). Please help us. Thank you.

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I agree. It seems to me that my sister and I are the only sane family left. I wish I could (in a clear concise) tell my cousin to take charge. However, she does not want to get involved nor give us any power over the trust. Luckily for my aunt her home is worth a very large sum of money (about 800k) which would sustain her for many years - no problem. I don't know the future (short term) extend of needed care as she is still recovering. Her long term needs would definitely be assisted living and memory care. Does anyone know of a way to make her a ward to the State (California)? I’m desperately trying to do the right thing (put her eventually in AL not the street), I just know if I want to be her court custodian. POA is one thing… custodian is too much.

I have to laugh that Aunt wants her house money to go to "poor people." Seems to me that dear Auntie is now poor and she needs her money for her own care!

Does she have other assets? Is she unable to return to her home when she is done convalesing? What is the value of her home? How long (in months) would that pay for assisted living? Is AL the level of care she needs, or will she need a memory care unit, or a nursing home?

One possibility is to leave the cousin deal with the house, and apply for Medicaid for your aunt.

If the lawyer who helped with the DPOAs is not a specialist in elder law, you might benefit from consulting such a specialist to determine what your options are.

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