How does my aunt change her POA? It's an attorney, so we are intimidated.

Follow
Share

My aunt is in a nursing home, and has an attorney named as her POA. She does not feel he has been handling her affairs properly, and would like to have me named instead. How can we go about this? (The attorney is not cooperating with us.)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
6

Answers

Show:
If your Aunt is mentally competent she has every right to change her POA. It will usually require being witnessed and notarized, but those are usually things that can be arranged in any SNF. If this Attorney believes your Aunt is NOT mentally competent, then she cannot change her POA unless the family goes to court and is granted a probate conservatorship. This can be messy and expensive. However, if there is a question about her mental competency and you feel she is competent, request that her Dr. evaluate her mentally and then write a statement attesting to her competency before you have her change her POA. This will protect you from accusations that you manipulated a demented person or something like that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

As a lawyer, I would suggest finding another attorney that your mother would accept. There are many lawyers that visit nursing homes for execution of estate planning documents. Regarding your present lawyer's "reluctance" to give up his duties, he has not right to do so. If he has your aunt's original estate planning documents, show up in person and have them removed from his vault and given to you. My advice is that you should never have two attorneys handling your aunt's estate plan. You could run into problems that you don't need at such a time. Have the new lawyer review ALL of your aunt's documents. There may be a very good reason why she doesn't have confidence in her present attorney.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Perhaps you could get help from your local legal aid agency. Fees are based on ability to pay or else by donation.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It may not be that simple if your aunt has dementia. So the following comments of mine are directed only if your aunt currently cannot make decisions on her own due to cognitive problems such as dementia.

If your aunt has dementia or other cognitive problem and has been legally deemed not being capable of handling her own affairs, she is at risk of being taken advantage of by a relative, friend, or acquaintance who does not have her best interests in mind. If that is the case, she trusted that lawyer when she had the cognitive capability or a court trusted that lawyer to take on the responsibility to be strong and protect her for a lifetime against fiduciary abuse. If she chose him, she did not ask you at that time for some reason. Even if you are not intending to harm her in any way and only have her best interests at heart, she did not entrust you with that responsibility at the time that she should have. The lawyer would be not be living up to a promised responsibility that he made to her years ago and her wishes would not be honored if he let someone else take over his role. That is abandonment.

If he is guilty of not acting with your aunt's best interest in mind, then it probably is going to take an attorney of your own to prove it in order to take him off your aunt's case. If he is acting in her best interests and she is considered not capable of making her own decisions, then you really should leave well enough alone.

If your aunt is all there mentally and able to make decisions, then do not feel intimidated. Just get the form, fill it out, get it notarized (I think that employees at the facility cannot witness this), send it registered to the attorney, keep a copy where it is safe. If you are firing the attorney, let him know his services are not longer needed and ask for a copy of your aunt's legal file. (You will probably need to pay for it.) I wouldn't let him know your aunt was dissatisfied, don't poke a cobra especially if it is a lawyer. No explanation is necessary in the letter, less is more.

P.S. I am not an attorney. I just speak from experience.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Search online for your state's POA form. Fill it out in accordance with the directions. It may require witnesses, notaries, etc. You'll probably have to send some kind of notice to the current POA as well as the companies/institutions he has contacted on her behalf, just to be thorough. Most importantly, don't be intimidated. It is HER POA, and therefore HER right to assign. You have every right to inform the attorney that she is unhappy with his administration and is reassigning it. If he threatens/intimidates you, just report him to the local bar association (which regulates attorney conduct).
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Can you get help from Adult Protective Services?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

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