Attorney said nothing can be done to change POA. Is that true?

Follow
Share

In short (because it is a looong story) my aunt moved in with my independent widowed grandmother 8 years ago, temporarily. Well, she never moved out and my grandmother developed dementia during the next two years of her living there. During this time when my grandmother could still get around but was very confused, my aunt took her to the bank and got my grandmother to give her sole POA without telling anyone in the family. (My grandmother is Polish so she did not always understand English well to begin with, then add to that her confusion) My mom (aunt's sister) was crushed because there was no discussion. My mom only lives down the road and to note, my grandmother is quite rich. My aunt lives rent free but to be fair, does all the bookkeeping and hiring and firing of caregivers etc. My mom complains to me all the time about this POA issue but when I tell her to confront my aunt she says "The lawyers already said there is nothing I can do to change that POA." Is this true? I am really tired of the sparring and hearing my mom complain but yet still be so close and friendly to my aunt. I find it all weird.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
25

Answers

Show:
The POA cannot be changed once the signer (grandmother, in this case) is no longer legally competent. However, your mom or other interested party can petition the local probate court to be appointed as legal guardian of your grandmother. A hearing will be held to sort out what is going on and who should be guardian. After the guardian is appointed, their power trumps that of the POA agent, i.e., your aunt. So, if your mother is appointed legal guardian by the court, then the POA would no longer be valid, as a practical matter.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I think the more important issue is...Is your aunt taking good care of your Grandmother? Is she abusing her POA? Have you spoken to your aunt in a friendly neutral manner and asked her what happened to Grandma that made your aunt think it was best to get POA? There are always 2 sides to a story.

If she is abusing her POA, is Grandmother still have all her mental capacity once in a while? Then when Grandmother is mentally alert, that would be the best time to change POA - if she wants to. If Grandmother has been declared mentally incompetent, then it would be impossible to change POA.

I'd recommend you go and have a nice visit to Grandma. Bring some small gifts of food, and sit down and have a nice chat with aunty and Grandma. Look around and see how Grandmother is in person. Is she healthy looking, etc.. And maybe you can do this visit weekly or bi-weekly to see if it's consistent.

Because truly, the most important thing here is NOT who has POA, but who is taking care of Grandmother, and is she really being taken care of.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

It's one Daughter against the other. You'd have to prove to a Judge why this should be taken away from your Auntie and given to anybody else , including your Mom. Seems from your post your Auntie has done nothing wrong. No judge is going to allow your mother and aunt to fight it out at the expense of your Grandmothers money. That money ( how ever much it maybe be ) is for her CARE and not for Attorney's FEE's to eat through it. I can't see any court changing this without a truly awful reason. POA is not the greatest job in the world Believe me. Plus families no longer stay that way when money is involved. GREED takes over and over. Take it from one who knows all to well. Do not kid yourself for one moment . Your Grand Mother may out live her money. We paid 10 grand a month for my Daddy's care and he was a Doctor himself. Now my Mummy is left okay but has ALZ and had to be put in a group home ( may 8 , 2013) all with in less than one year of my Daddy's passing. Growing older and sicker is very costly! To late to spell check ( forgive me ) . I wish you and your Family the Best. But this is about your Grand Mothers well being not any of YOU fighting for power over her MONEY. I'm sure if she has as much as you claim , you will all get your do share.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Have your Mom get medical POA if your Aunt does not already have it?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'd politely tell mom to either put up or shut up (I said politely). Find a solution to the problem and then act on it. If she can get POA, fine. If she can't then stop complaining. Inform her that it is too stressful to hear it over and over and you don't like being put in the middle.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

was your grandmothers diagnoised with demetia before giving poa to your aunt? if so you can take this to court, but you would need to prove why your aunt should not be her poa, has she done something wrong, is she stealing from her or abusing her in some way, once someone is diagnosed with dementia it is hard to get a poa changed unless you can prove some kind of abuse, hope this helps
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

It sounds like your mother is pitting you against your aunt and causing you pain. Step back younger one. Tell your mother if she has an issue with her sister, go talk to her sister because you can do nothing. If your aunt is not abusing her POA, then unless you can prove, beyond doubt in Court, the POA will stay in place. Family disputes are nothing new, nor are they easy when there is wealth involved. My own family is split now because there was money involved with our mother, and now that mother is deceased, I don't speak to my sisters at all. So, keep repeating, there is nothing you can do to your mother until she leaves you alone. The disagreement is between your mother and your aunt, and you stay out of their sister rivalry. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I tried to have my older brother removed as POA, and spoke with an attorney about it. He basically said that if my brother has not made a lot of fiduciary mistakes or fraudulently mishandled my father's affairs, then there is no real legal recourse. I could still do it, but it would become a long drawn out affair that would cost more in legal fees than I would get from my inheritance. Bottom line, I learned how to get along with my brother and even though I don't like the situation (and I told him that) it is what is it is, and the best thing I can do is just be honest in my opinions, and offer as much help and support as possible.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I have POA on both of my parents here in Arizona and my first thought was that how could a POA have been done at a bank? Do you know FOR SURE it's a POA, and not just that they went to the bank and added your aunt to the checking/savings accounts, so that your Aunt could pay bills? My parents had to go through a procedure much as the answer from Australia says...an attorney, lots of questions. And monthly, I must submit checking account statements to a financial person at the law firm and answer any questions the firm has about the spending of the money too. My POA is 30 pages long and has to be submitted to everywhere they have money invested and to all banks where they have accounts. It's NOT a casual thing. Dad, with his dementia, wanted to undo his, and the lawfirm had to send him to two doctors, to have both attest in writing to whether or not he could handle his own affairs anymore. Both said NO and they called Dad and Mom in and told them that the POA could not be changed for him. I do suggest that this IS about whether or not Grandma is getting cared for properly, and that should be assessed first by visiting and talking to both Grandma and your Aunt. Ask openly about the POA. There's no reason you could not see it, or have a copy of it. Then, if all looks well, talk with your Mom about what her concerns are about your Aunt caring for Grandma. If there should be no POA, then it sounds time to put something in place. And yes...one person can have POA over money and another have POA over medical. That can also be like a double check as to what is happening in the care of the person. But if Grandma is no longer competent, I believe you would be looking at guardianship rather than POA? I assume, if you know what bank it is, you could simply go to the bank and ask exactly what papers were signed there too. They can't discuss specifics but can certainly say who is on the accounts as signers and yes or no, that they did a POA for your grandmother. I hope this helps.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

All good posts here. #1 thing, find out what is really bothering your Mom. Is she worried about your Grandmother or her money? What is her relationship with her sister? Is there a rivalry between them over something that you don't know about? POA's can be changed with the help of a notary, especially if the notary comes right to Grandmother's house and watches her sign - I know because it happened to me. The notary abused her power, my father's signature was "drawn" not written, he held the pen, but had help...I don't think this is the case here. I never heard of banks doing POA's either. Possibly your aunt is just a co-signer on her accounts, which would have to be done at the bank with Grandmother's o.k. and her signature also. Most importantly, if Grandmother is being well taken care of and no abuse either physically, financially or emotionally is going on, I don't see a problem here. You must not let yourself be in the middle, for your own health sake. Good suggestion to visit Grandmother often, and Auntie too. Help with the chores, take food, or give Auntie a break by sitting with Grandmother so Auntie can have some respite. Your Mom should be going to visit often, not to confront, but to help also. Do unto others, as you hope they will do to you, kindness counts. Keep us posted -this site is wonderful and we've shared your pain. xxxooo
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions