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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

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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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diavalon might be thinking that a lawyer arranging a POA must ask those kind of questions of the subject in question before the POA can be made. we recently tried to get a POA for my mother, who is in mid-to-late stage dementia, but the lawyer wouldn't do it after sitting and talking with my mom for an hour. my mom, who is quite conversant and coherent, still could not answer questions about the year, her address, and other basics. so the lawyer would not write up the POA. i had to go to court and become her legal guardian instead.
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It may be that no one has Alzheimers, just a bunch of angry people. I would get two people for witnesses, revoke the trust, and start over. Of course, hopefully, if there is dementia, then two reasonable people won't witness anything and then the courts need to help. What if no one has finances to pay for legal help? That worries me. Good answers all. Or rather no good answers just wanting to help and hoping for the best all.
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I've never had a notary ask any questions whatsoever. If it is someone who knows me (insurance agent) they stamp the document. Otherwise I have had to produce identification to verify who I am. But never, ever, has anyone asked if I knew what was in the document, or "how is the president?" (I think he has a headache today.) :)

The lawyer made sure that my husband understood the documents. She did not ask if he knew what day it was. The notary didn't care at all.
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Wow, diavalon12,

I have had numerous documents notarized, and taken Mom to get her sig. notarized on documents. At no time, EVER, were either of us asked if we understood the contents of the documents, nor if we were oriented to date, time, etc.

In fact, notaries we've been to, stated they only had to make sure the signer was actually who they said they were, checking ID's.
They stated it "was not their job to read the document, nor to ascertain if the signer knew /understood the contents". Only that the signer was who they said they were.

Alzheimer's does vacillate in symptoms. IF it's a "good day" the person is fine to sign --but how "good" can be a gray area of interpretation.
If a Doc has diagnosed it, it's on record, and any documents signed subsequently could be potentially questioned/contested.
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I agree with Jeanne to a point, but as a notary must by law have the person signing the documents must know what they are signing and must answer questions like do you know day it is, how is the president, what is your bithday, things like that and if they can't answer the notary by law cannot notarize the paperwork. If they are in the early stages you are right jeannie they can and do sign POA's all the time but in the middle or later stages I would say no..Good luck
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Having dementia does not automatically mean that a person is not competent to sign a POA. See this AC article: https://www.agingcare.com/articles/elder-cant-sign-will-trust-power-of-attorney-153521.htm

My husband signed the POA and medical POA documents after being diagnosed with dementia. His cognitive abilities fluctuated a lot and he also suffered from paranoia at that time. I told the lawyer that he might not be willing to sign at the appointed time. She said that was fine; she'd just keep coming back until she caught him in a calm period. Fortunately she only had to come once. She asked if he understood what the papers were for. He explained, more or less accurately, what they were for. She asked if he trusted me to make decisions for him. He did.

In our case there was no one who would have contested this. It was in everyone's best interest to have those documents in effect. So it never got tested in court.

I'm just pointing out that having a diagnosis of dementia does not necessarily disqualify someone from granting POA.
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You state that your ex had Alzheimers. Well, then he still has it. So any point you try to make about what he wants now, has little to do with the problem. Legal help, as suggested, is the only answer. Hugs, Corinne
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Judy,
Interesting case. KIndly let us all know how it turns out, even if it takes years.
"Ex-Husband"!!!!
Are we to guess you had an "Divorce and Estate Settlement" in the past?
Did you spent your "settlement money" on medical bill due to your illness?
If so I would guess most judge's would hesitate turning over someone's Pension Income after a divorced settlment.
After a divorce/settlment the judge might simply look at any spouse as an Ex-Spouce without any claims on assets.
Another point would be if it can be proven that POA was signed while someone had alzheimers which might lead the Judge to Appoint a "Court Appointed Trustee".
My guess is the lawyers will keep filing for extensions until they bill you both broke.
Good luck.
Kindly keep us informed down the road.
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I agree with the first two answers you need an atttorney, and must prove he had alzhiemer's. when this was done.
Good Luck
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ruralwannabe, revoking the POA is simple, and is done by the principle. I think it is complicated in this case because the principle has dementia (is he competent to sign this legal document? Was he at the time he signed the first one?) and he has been moved out of his home and his finances have apparently been tampered with. Plus there is an ex-wife involved. I think the law about how to establish and revoke POA is pretty logical, but the circumstances here are complicated.
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How is POA revoked? Seems extreme to need a court and lawyer. Should also just need Two adult witnesses and Notary to reverse what Two adult witnesses and Notary to reverse what instituted. If the law is logical, which it is often not.
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No such thing as " in the throws of Alzhiemers's" It is a disease that must be documented by a physician. It has eight stages.
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Like all stories, there are two sides. That's why we have courts. Keep in mind that a P.O.A. must be witnessed by at least two adults and notarized by a lawyer or a Notary Public . It is a gift and can be revoked by the donor at any time. Upon the donor's death, it automattically ceases to exist.
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I have to agree with the previous two comments. You need a lawyer and his medical records. You also need to support what you put in the post about the financial abuse as the courts do not like this kind of abuse of elders. Good luck!!!!
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One would think that your husbands son did it while your husband was not in his right mind. I would also think that you need to bring to court a lawyer and your husbands medical records.
Good luck.
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You need an attorney versed in elder law.
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