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Thank you all for your help with my questions about health proxy and POA. My father and his sister were born in America - when my father was 7 years old in 1925 his father died and so my grandmother came back to England and asked her sister could she mind her children for one year as she had a job in America and wanted to get things sorted in America - Her sister was only able to keep one of them and so my father was left in England and my Aunt went back to America with her mother. As things turned out - due to war etc.etc. my grandmother never got back to England for my dad which to a young child had a pretty bad effect on him and he did not trust many people in his life. As for my grandmother she remarried again - Over the years My dad travelled to America and my grandmother visited us in England. So the result was my dad thought his sister was having a great time and vice-versa. We met our aunt many times over the years but she was a loner and never married and lived with my grandmother till she died in 1993 and then my aunt lived alone and was a hoarder. She invested wisely and was and is wealthy - We would visit her and always write and call her. We would stay with our cousins when we went to see her in America. Then 12 months ago she rings me and asks me to go over to see her which I did and found her in good form and she told me she wanted to change her will - I stayed with my cousins while there and they informed me that she had several wills and the last will was to a cat sanctuary. While there my Aunt asked me to get an attorney and she would go and see this attorney and get a new will drawn up. I did'nt do anything because I felt it was wrong and I told her I would come back again to see her. A month later I got 2 letters from her begging me to get back to see her as she wanted to talk about my father and his life - I went back and my cousin and I went to visit my Aunt but she was all agitated and rambling on about changing her will again. I felt that If I had brought her to an attorney in America it would be undue influence.
So then she ended up in Hospital and is now in 24 hour care which is great as she has the money for good treatment - but this is where things started going wrong with our 3rd cousins - the day my aunt got sick they rang and told us that one of them had Health Proxy and the other had POA and that our Aunt was deemed mentally incompetent and for us not to go and visit her for a few weeks until all the forms were signed and sealed. They got a cleaning company to clear her apartment and go through all her documents and handed over her keys to her landlord - We were totally excluded from any medical decisions even though we are the next of kin. Our cousins will not even ring us or answer our e mails - they would be my aunts's 2nd cousins and we had a great relationship until our Aunt got sick. They told us nobody could go near her apartment yet they got cleaners in who went through every private letter my aunt had - So I rang cousins and asked to see Forms giving them these powers and have heard nothing from them. I travelled to see my aunt in her 24 hour care residence and she is happy enough but wants to get better and get home to her apartment - I feel it is sad the lives my dad and aunt had and I feel sad that the great friendship between our cousins has come to this. Any advice for me please.

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Who is the "we" you keep referring to? I assume your father is deceased? Who else are you speaking for with your post about being excluded?
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I think Molly does just want to know that everything's above board. And I think the problem is that the cousins are leaping to the easy conclusion that there's more to it than that. It's a bit of a vicious circle of suspicion and defensiveness - hope you can turn it around, Molly.
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A POA signed by a competent adult takes precedence over "next of kin." A person can give that authority to an unrelated friend even if the person has children. Niece or second-cousin has nothing to do with it, if Aunt has signed over the authority while she was competent. (I think that most persons would prefer to have a local POA than one across the pond, so that may have nothing to do with whom she feels emotionally closer to.) As Country Mouse says, you can verify that the documents are in order. If it turns out they are not, then what? Aunt apparently needs someone to act in her best interests. If you fight with your relatives over this, it will be decided by a judge, who may assign an unrelated person to do this. It is unlikely a judge would appoint someone not living in the US.

If you somehow could be appointed the POA or the guardian, what would you do differently? Would you want to place Aunt in a different care facility? If she is incompetent now, the last will she made while "of sound mind" will stand, no matter who her guardian is. Just how would having you as guardian improve her life?
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Molly pam is right, you have to be her daughter and you are not. You are her neice
And you do not have the right, only blood related. That means her daghters or even her husband.
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Molly, you have posted this same question several times, with a little more information each time. Now it becomes clear why you are not POA. You failed her request for a new Will because you didn't want the money to go to a cat sanctuary. At that point she knew you wanted her money, and she turned to relatives close at hand who would follow her wishes. They were wise to lock up the apartment to prevent relatives from grabbing the goods. And since she never designated you as "Next of Kin" (English equivalent of POA) you have no legal recourse on either side of the pond.
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Meant to say, "if" she signed...
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I'm confused. Do you live in America or England? If your aunt lives in England, you will have to get an English barrister to handle their laws, but is she signed documents BEFORE she became incompetent, I don't think you have much to say with regards to her care. If she is happy where she is and she can afford it, then visit her and love her for the time she has left and stop wondering what "could" have been. It's too late now...
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Molly, you do have a right to ensure that your aunt has not been taken advantage of. Be clear not only in all communication with others but also in your own mind that you are acting in her interests, not your own: you are requesting that a suitable person should review how her affairs have been handled to check that proper procedure has been followed.

If you're familiar with the area where her care home is, you could ask around and find out which public or governmental body is responsible for elder affairs. You then put in a request for them to ascertain:

that your aunt's relatives do have valid POA, as they claim;
that they have been acting properly in relation to your aunt's property and her wellbeing.

You could also try to find out who her attorney is, and contact him or her seeking advice. Remember that your aunt's attorney cannot tell you anything about his client's affairs; but that does not stop him from listening to your concerns, and acting on them if he thinks it appropriate.

You don't have a right to see the POA documents yourself unless your aunt instructed that you should be told about them.

You don't have a right to know anything about her wishes, her will, her finances, her property or anything else. But you do have a right to ask that all of these things are being properly managed and properly scrutinised.

I'm encouraged by what you said about your concerns over undue influence, because it shows you have a very decent attitude to these matters. I do think you missed an important opportunity, though, for your aunt to get her wishes down on paper - the correct thing would have been to ask a well-respected local family or specialist elders' lawyer to visit her, and leave them together either alone or with an unconnected assistant to help with communication if your aunt has difficulty hearing, for example. Never mind, too late.

I think you should insist on getting your cousins' management of your aunt's affairs reviewed by an appropriate authority; but go no further than that. I get the impression that your cousins, though they could be being more inclusive, probably are not doing anything wrong. The fact that you have been able to visit your aunt recently - without their attempting to interfere? - for example, is reassuring: if they were up to anything serious, you'd have met with obstruction there. Possibly they're feeling a little defensive and/or suspicious. The upside to being wealthy is that you can afford first class care. The downside is that your relatives, no matter how well intentioned, start behaving weirdly.

Have you talked to them again? I'm wondering if you'd thought about reporting to them what your aunt said about getting better and going home, and what they said in response - did they, for example, agree that it's sad but also point out it's completely unrealistic? Did they scoff at the idea?

At this point I would try to keep talking to them if you can. What did they say when you asked for sight of the POA documents? Did they agree and not do it, or sound non-committal, or what?
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Well it is a little late in the day, you had your opportunity but you failed to react, now that the horse is bolted you will need a lawyer to help you sort it out, or try communicating with your cousins on the best options.
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