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I had POA for my mother for 6 years until my sister just 2 days ago got my mother to sign another POA giving her POA. Is this legally binding since my mother has dementia. My mother has no concept of her financial affairs or even what she is signing. Her memory is extremely limited. My mother signed the POA with myself before she had dementia.


Thank you for your help.

helpwithma ...hello! Do you have a copy of the new POA? Read the one you have been using, thoroughly.
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Reply to wuvsicecream
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Sis tried to to do swift one but once a person with dementia goes below a certain mark anything they sign is nul & void -

After that many years chances are slim if was in early days then maybe but not after all this time - get her to a health care professional who can state what she is like now just days after the supposed signing - then sis has to prove that mom knew what she was signing as you are questioning it as valid -

Notify all banks etc that any new P.O.A. is under suspicion & should be valid only with a dr's certificate stating mom knew what she was doing .... not going to happen - good luck
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Jada: I give my own flesh and blood, aka, my sibling a break because you never know what they're going through. My goodness~they could be right out straight, up to their neck in unexpected problems or health issues. Yes, your case is different~I get it.
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Jada824 Oct 19, 2018
I was her caretaker for 2 years with no help from him until he took over her finances and pushed me out of the picture & wont let me see or speak to her any more. This is a controlling greedy sibling!
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Hire a lawyer. I just found out my brother did this for DPOA and not only that, he had her amend her trust to remove me & name him 100% with his kids as beneficiaries. My children were also removed since I am no longer a beneficiary. This was all done in July 2017 but I just found out when I hired a lawyer. Some siblings are greedy, manipulative people where their only concern is for themselves!
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Perhaps you would do yourself a favor by hiring an elder law attorney.
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Jada824 Oct 18, 2018
I hired a lawyer and that's how I found out what he did. Without a lawyer I would've never gotten this info as he has been very secretive over the past 2 years. Beware when your siblings hide info from you.....when they do, they're up to no good!
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I would hope not. You need 2 doctors to sign statements that she is unable to make decisions on her health and finances, you will then be able to go to court to challenge your sister. How many siblings do you have? my sister and I both have guardianship and POA. We have to work together and that helps.
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Jada824 Oct 18, 2018
All he did was have lawyer witness her signature..... o Drs were involved.
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My situation is very similar to this one. A sibling went and found a lawyer to give him POA but this lawyer changed it to all children with POA. This still hasn't satisfied the sibling. After reading all the other responses, I am saddened that a lawyer can walk into a patients room, ask a few questions to determine their state of mind and then have them sign papers. This same sibling took a lawyer and clergyman to my mothers bedside a month before she died and had her "sell" her home to him. I had visited her later that day and she was so distraught and keep repeating what "X did will blow your mind" She was unable to tell me what happened and we (other siblings) didn't know what happened until a No Trespassing sign went up on my mothers house and locks changed. Now he is after my father to change things he had in place and "brainwashes"(for a lack of a better word) to be mad at me so that my father will do whatever he wants. When things become crazier than they already are...I take a step back, take a deep breath (many of them) and pray everything will work out for the best for my parent.
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Reply to Lorraine11
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If you can contact a physician who has known your mom for years and knows her now, you may be able to get a Statement of Competency from them. That may help you.

People are legally competent until a court decides they are not. You need to speak to an attorney in your mom's area. In the meantime, notify your mom's accounts that the change of POA is in dispute.
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Jada824 Oct 18, 2018
Brother changed her dr that I was taking her to that new her for a few years & witnessed dementia.
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Hi Helpwithma:

If your mother has been definitively diagnosed with Alzheimers or or mentally debilitating dementia, she can NOT change her POA.

If she has not been diagnosed, get her to a doctor that can state whether or not she is mentally fit to understand what she is signing.

With that said, talk to an elder care attorney pronto because undue influence is difficult to prove.

Sometimes, even if a person has dementia, the courts will rule that the elderly person can still make a decision to change a POA.

Guardianship is also very difficult to obtain, unless your mother is diagnosed by a doctor, and likely you will need more than one opinion, as being unable to make financial or medical decisions on her own.

The reason why the courts and doctors are so strict is the elder financial fraud is on the rise.

The most likely person to attempt to take the elder's money is a family member who has POA.

One other way to handle this is to ask your mother if she is okay with the change. If she is not, she will likely have to change it back to you.

The fact that your sister change POA is suspicious. It appears to go against your mother's wishes.

It does not matter, if you are not caring for her, it was your mother's choice
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minstrel Oct 17, 2018
It is not true that a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or other dementia automatically means a person is incompetent to sign a PoA. A person with dementia (including Alzheimer's type) might still be adjudged legally competent. And, they might be competent with respect to some matters and not competent with respect to others. The perspn's physician is in the best place to attest that the person knows what he/she is signing and wants to sign the document, understanding the consquences. It is helpful to have the doctor draft a statement to this effect at the time the person makes or changes a PoA.
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Consult with an attorney & try to work with your siblings. There are several types of protective legal relationships with individuals who do not have capacity. When my mother began exhibiting behavioral and intellectual changes indicative of dementia, I encouraged my brothers to join me in consulting with an attorney. We went to court to declare my mother incompetent and gained guardianship and evoke her will and trust which named me her trustee and POA. We had letters from three medical doctors citing her inability to manage her personal, legal, business affairs and dementia DX. She vehemently did not want to transfer management of her affairs to us. Via her will and trust which was executed prior to her dementia DX, I already had trustee and power of attorney to be activated upon her death or incapacity. After the court hearing, my older brother resigned, my other brother continues as Co-Guardian, but does nothing and lives on another island, and I remain my mother's sole Trustee, POA and only acting Guardian. I manage all her legal, business, personal, medical affairs. It's not easy. Luckily, she has the finances to reside in a facility for memory impaired patients. But, because the staff cannot manage her adequately, I still need to hire private caregivers and go over myself to often manage her. Good Luck. The burden of management and caregiving often falls to one person in the family.
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minstrel Oct 17, 2018
A PoA is not "activated upon death." A PoA ceases to have validity and the time of death; the Executor of the Will then has power over the decedent's assets (or a court-appointed administrator, if a person has not executed a will).
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I think there are different legal thoughts on this, but as our attorney who is an elder law specialist explained, so long as the dementia is not so progressed that a person doesn't know their name, where they are etc and and can understand even in the moment what they are doing, it should fly. Like they know right now and understand, and are okay with it, even though 5 minutes from now they may forget.
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Countrymouse Oct 16, 2018
I agree that this is a tricky issue to pin down. My mother and I got the forms we needed for health and welfare POA, discussed them, filled them in, took them to her friendly and helpful GP for counter-signature, all correct. He casually (subtle fox!) said "remind me what we're doing here?"

Epic fail. Back to the drawing board, sigh...
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Ddownloaded forms from your state attorney general or superior court are legal valid documents, the do require a notary.

If your mom lives with your sister, your sister should be getting paid for her care as well as mom paying her own way, ie rent, utilities, food and transportation.

You say your sister only wants moms money, that is not true by the facts you yourself have shared. Caregiving is very trying and you basically give up your life for the person you are caring for. Your sister has done this for your mom. Your dad may have seen things one way but the reality is that your sister, not you, brought mom into her home. Making her life difficult because of a dead person's wishes is really unfair and you should be helping your mom by helping your sister if you want to honor your dads request.

Sorry if that sounds harsh but you need to look at the reality of today, not 6 years ago.
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Jada824 Oct 16, 2018
If sister is being secretive, there's something going on!
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Just to clarify: your mother is in an Independent Living facility - as per your profile - with your sister providing regular support?

Or your mother is living with your sister, in your sister's home, with your sister providing full-time care?

In the first, your sister shouldn't really need POA. It shouldn't be too difficult to refer any bills or expenses to you. Has that been happening smoothly up to now?

In the second, as I can tell you from experience, although it is possible and there are even advantages (transparency, avoidance of conflict of interest) to the absent sibling's being POA, it is overall a massive pain in the butt; and particularly so in the absence of reliable communication.

To answer your actual question: if you can demonstrate that your mother, at the time she signed your sister's new POA document, could not have understood what she was signing, then this new document is not valid and the previous POA stands.

Moving on to what the POA is actually for: who is paying your mother's bills? Who is managing her money? What, if any, accounting or reporting requirements were written into the document? And how do you want to move forward?
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I'm confused, where is the concern your sister who is apparently doing so much for your mother being an issue?
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If you have a letter from physician that predates the new POA, or some form of documentation of her dementia?
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minstrel Oct 16, 2018
A diangnosis of dementia may not in itself indicate lack of legal competence. If your mother understoond what she was doing and the significance of the new PoA, it will be valid. It's adviasable for her regular physician to draft a statement wo the effect that she is of ound mind to do a new PoA-or not.
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It would certainly simplify things for your sis, since she is the caregiver, to have POA. They have forms in most doc's offices that will take care of medical POA business. Are you certain it was a downloaded form?

My mom's POA had one sib as primary, then other two of us listed as successors with me second. I provided care and did not have issues with doc's and such when I needed to as sib was not available. By any chance was mom's POA setup similarity?

Does sis have a difficult time with communicating mom's issues with you? Do you understand the issues? Do you offer support and understanding? You cannot transfer POA to sis unless she is setup as successor on the original POA. Mom is the only one that can assign POA.

My sib was in complete denial over mom's condition. Thought I was making it all up to support the need for mom having care. Have you provided sis time off so she can refuel and regroup? You might want to give that a shot so you better understand mom's care needs.

She should have had an attorney or doctor witness this new POA. To reassign one, they only need to understand in the moment the purpose of the POA. Dementia diagnosis does not automatically disqualify them from making POA type of decisions. Sis is providing care and it would be difficult to show in a court of law that mom was coerced in any way. The setup makes sense as far as what would work best for mom and mom trusts her because of all she does.
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Reply to gladimhere
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If your sister is doing ALL the care you should appreciate what she is doing. Otherwise as POA your mom in my opinion should be living with you, so it makes me wonder why your sister had that opportunity to make herself POA. That tells me you are not doing any of her care. She is. I am POA and I do ALL the care for my mom include bathe her, change her diapers, clean her feces, and manage her bowels, give her meds and it takes an hour and a half just to feed her per meal. It is a very back breaking, soul destroying process.

However, it was wrong that your sister made herself POA without you transferring it to her. If I were her I would have never taken care of her, and make you do ALL the hard dirty work including sacrificing your life--but that's me. I would have never taken care of her..whoever has POA should be the primary caregiver.
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Jada824 Oct 16, 2018
Sometimes it's an unscrupulous sibling who wants control........it happened to me. I was during everything for mom until brother stepped in to handle her finances and pushed me out. He had her sign DPOA removing me as secondary and just had her sign a new trust 100% to him & his children as beneficiaries. He has isolated mom from my family for the past year now where I can't see her or speak to her because " he has control".
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You may have to take sis to court. See an attorney. Does mom have a doctor who will claim that mom was not able to sign? Where is mom living now?
IF nothing sticks, Then wash your hands of everything and let sissy take the fall when things get worse.
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helpwithma Oct 13, 2018
Mom lives with Sis and is totally under her control. I am leaning towards letting it fall on her but it would be letting my Dad down who passed 6 yrs ago. He knew the situation. Tough call but I appreciate your input.
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Absolutely involve an attorney. Even if your mom has just a small estate. I got my POA from LegalZoom, but no one could say that my mom was not still competent when she signed it. It’s worth the expense.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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Oh wow.. that might be kind of fishy. I would have involved an attorney ..especially since she already has dementia... there is no proof that she understood what she was signing at that moment. Did she have a notary witness her signing it?

I would see an elder attorney ..she already had a POA.. what is her reason for another one?
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Reply to katiekay
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If she has no concept or understanding of what she is signing, then I don't think it would be legal, as she lacks mental capacity to execute those type of agreements. I would talk to your elder law attorney and see what you can do to protect your mom's interests, particularly if your sister has dishonest motives.
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Reply to FrazzledMama
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I believe they can sign a POA with dementia, however, they need to be able to understand what they are signing at the time they are signing it. If they have earlier stage dementia they may be able to sign a POA. The attorney will ask them questions to determine their level of understanding (this is how it went for me back when my parents signed).

Even if they forget after they signed it..they need to be able to have an understanding at the time they signed. If they have no concept of what the POA is or why they are signing it.. then no... they shouldn't have been able to sign it...
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helpwithma Oct 13, 2018
There was no attorney involved my sister downloaded the form and had my mother sign it.
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