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My friend is the sole caregiver and has POA for an 88 year old woman with dementia. She has taken care of this lady for the last 8 years. For the first few years, it was as a part time assistant, but since 2017 it has become a 24 hour job. The only financial assistance she receives is the lady’s retirement check, which is 700$ and mostly used to pay for food and expenses. The only asset the lady has is a vacant home that needs work and the taxes are past due. Several years ago, the lady stated that she wanted to leave my friend the house, but it was never put into writing , and she is not mentally capable of making that decision now. The lady never had children and has no family. Can my friend sell the house, and use the money to pay for ongoing expenses? Can she keep any money if there is any leftover when the lady dies?

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To be paid the POA has to say that. Or a caregiver agreement made up. POA stops at time of death. So POA can do nothing after her client dies. If a Will the Executor takes over if not, then someone can become Administrator of the estate. Once the debts are paid then Probate Court determines who inherits. It will probably be a relative.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Your "friend" (wink wink) really needs to speak to an attorney. Relatives tend to come out of the woodwork when you least expect them, even though you ~ I mean your friend~ thinks there are no relatives, there might be some surprises in store.

Even if you were the POA, there would probably still need to be an attorney involved with the transfer of assets from her name into....the name of your friend.
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Reply to gemswinner12
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Margaret your advice is inaccurate if the OP is in the US. The POA CANNOT just pat herself for caring. And yes she does need a lawyer and the advice will be not the same as yours. The POA is already being paid. The question here is whether the POA can act in her own self interest & sell the house and keep the money. POAs cannot act in self interest. The woman has dementia and likely cannot enter in to a legal agreement. A lawyer is necessary.
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Reply to worriedinCali
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MargaretMcKen May 14, 2020
Worried, I very much doubt that your comments are correct, apart from the obvious fact that the POA cannot act in self interest. I don't think you read my post properly, and I continue to be surprised that you are so sure of yourself. I trust that you don't think that a lawyer is going to enter into a legal agreement on the matter, rather than just giving advice, or that any court is going to act in contravention of a will or the intestacy law.
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As POA, OP can pay herself for caring if it’s in the best interests of the person she is caring for. First thing is to establish the reasonable rate for the job, plus whether anyone else is a good alternative choice to do it. If POA is the best choice at the same or lower rate, it’s difficult to say that it’s not in the best interests etc. The next question is whether relations or anyone else is in a position to question the payments (particularly beneficiaries under a will). If so, it would be prudent to talk to them about it, ask them for alternative suggestions, and write them a confirmation letter (keep a copy) that they have agreed or have not been able to provide any alternatives that are cheaper and more acceptable. It’s probably not a good idea to take back pay past the time when the patient was capable of making the decision to pay and didn’t choose to pay. If there is insufficient money to pay now, you can build up a debt to set against the estate, but it would be good to discuss this too with anyone who may want to give you grief later on.

If the person dies with a will, it says how the estate is distributed. If the person dies intestate, the law says how it is distributed in your state. Probate courts don’t make these decisions, certainly not here or anywhere I have heard of. But if you are caring 24/7, the debt to you is likely to take a substantial part of the house proceeds. If you want to go to a lawyer, do the homework stated above first because that’s what the lawyer will ask about. But if it all seems straightforward, there may be no need. A lawyer won't be able to give you guarantees, and their advice is likely to be very much like this.
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no
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Reply to gladimhere
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Your friend needs to speak to an attorney. A POA really can’t do anything in their own best interest. If she has a POA that specifically allows her handle real estate transactions then she can sell the house & the woman can live off the proceeds from the sale. If the woman isn’t competent and write a will then your friend doesn’t get to keep everything when the woman dies, she will have to go to probate court and see if they will let her keep what’s left of the estate.
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