Follow
Share

How do I determine if the POA for my mother actually exists and if it was legally obtained? My father handled all the legal documents for my parents. He signed his will and their living AB trust and gave me copies of the documents. My mother never signed anything. My father gave me copies of all their legal documents. I never saw a POA for my mother. If one exists, would it be submitted somewhere? Would my father be able to sign a POA for my mother? Can I formally request a copy of the POA? Would it be legal to have this document created after my father's death? My brother initially told us he was the executor of the estate but after a few years we learned he was not. Then he told us he was the POA for my mother however he kept having my mother sign her name to documents such as tax returns and even stacks of blank checks. It was only after several more years and my protests that last year he signed his name on her check with POA. How can I verify any of this? My mother has documented long standing advanced Alzheimer's.


I am still trying to understand my mother's financial and legal status. She currently resides in a memory facility.

You live in California. Your mother is in a memory care facility in Pennsylvania. For years, your brother has taken responsibility for her welfare. You would like to have more control over her care. Oh? What are your main concerns about how she is being looked after?

No, your father could not sign a POA for your mother. But it is possible that your mother created a POA, perhaps at the same time as the AB Trust was drawn up, and that she appointed your father to act for her and appointed your brother as a deputy to take over after your father's death. Have you tried asking your brother for sight of it?
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse
Report

I would hire an attorney ASAP as your brother could have had your mom sign new documents without your knowledge. Mine did that to me, he had my mom amend her trust & POA removing me completely. He also closed her bank account that had all three of us on it & told her drs not to speak to me anymore because he has POA. I didn’t find out until a year after he did it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Jada824
Report

Someone is writing the check to the memory facility. A memory care place has to have documents that name who is responsible for handling her financial business now that she can not do for herself.

A bank account should have been opened naming whomever the trust states is supposed to manage her finances i.e. the named trustee. Accounts normally list this person as the "Trustee for ..." or some similar designation. Banks can not open these type accounts without reviewing trust documents that confirm who is authorized to handle business. In the case of my family, I was background and credit checked before they would open accounts with me as the clearly designated trustee.

A lot of documentation has been reviewed and confirmed by somebody at the bank and facility. Your issue brings up another question - Are you listed as an emergency contact? Communications with a family member listed for any health or financial issues is normally in the best interest of the facility. I would talk to them first, then the bank. No progress - I would find an attorney ASAP.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Houseplant102
Report

You say co-trustee, is your brother the other trustee?

The memory care facility would have to have a copy of the POA, ask them to show you.

What exactly do you want to do that you can't? Do you live near her?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report

I have copies of the trust documents and will provided by my father. I also have all the legal documents from my dad's attorney after he died including assessment of the estate, etc. The portion of the AB trust that had individual monies just my dad's name was transferred to a financial institution but a majority of the money was transferred into my mother's name and is under the control of my brother with a POA I have never seen. I know that my mother never gave authorization as she was incapable. I got monthly statements from Fidelity who is the co-trustee. As I mentioned, my mother is in a memory facility in Pennsylvania. I would like to have more control over her care. She is my mother! I adore her. I would like to get to the bottom of this. I would like to know my rights as an heir to the estate. I would like to request an audit of financial documents. Is it possible for me to freeze the accounts?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to aginghelp
Report
Lymie61 May 12, 2019
If Fidelity is the co-trustee of this main account who is the other co-trustee? This must be stated and laid out in your dads will and the papers he left for you or with his attorney. If your brother is acting as POA with the bank, with the facility mom is in, for the Fidelity account each of them would want to have the POA on file before recognizing him and allowing it. The only caveat to some degree is if your mom gave verbal consent for them to share info with him but still to sign things and legally access the money he would need to prove legal papers. They insist on having these on file to protect themselves for just this kind of thing. Without you having some legal paperwork POA or exec of dads will perhaps, I doubt you can freeze her accounts but they might do that themselves or at least freeze his access if you question things and they don't have the proper paperwork on file. You might want to be careful about this though because you want her bills/expenses to continue being paid, you don't want everything to stop because its all frozen...
(1)
Report
I would go to the bank and tell them that you believe that your moms account has been hacked and you would like to verify that the account is in her name only and no one else is using it.

Talk to a banker, not a teller.

Is your mom being taken care of. That is the most important thing.

Your dad sounds like he knew what to do to provide for and protect her. Have you seen the trust and all the other documents?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
Report
AnnReid May 13, 2019
I always ask to talk to “an OFFICER” whenever dealing with any bank used by/for my LO in memory care.
Doing this saves a lot of time.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Mom would have had to assign her own POA. Dad nor no one else could have done it. If Dad was her POA it stopped upon his death. She would have had to reassign.

Usually, between a husband and wife they leave to each other. What yours is mine. No need for probate so no Executor. If there is an executor, that person has to file the Will and make beneficiaries and interested parties aware of the filing.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

This is an important question and I don’t know the answer. I understand that some USA states have registries, but not here in Oz and not all USA states. The POA document should have been produced to the bank, but perhaps not – if it was available there would have been no need for blank checks to be signed in advance. Your mother would have needed to sign the POA while she was still legally competent, but it could be after your father’s death. If your brother was POA before mother went into care, the facility should also have seen and noted the document. Ask them, and if they say 'privacy' go up the ladder to the manager and say to check because they may be legally liable if they haven't OKed it. Complaining to the bank might be the next first affordable step. These days banks rarely (never?) check signatures on cheques against the registered signatures for the account, but they are at fault if they have paid out on a cheque signed as POA without seeing the POA document. The bank can require the document to be produced. I’d say try that first, then see a lawyer. One of my tasks as an articled law clerk many years ago was to take POAs around to banks, share registries etc to be formally noted, and I find it hard to think that now institutions would just accept someone’s say-so without seeing the document.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter