My mother-in-law made her daughter POA after having a stroke. She is going to revoke POA now that she is recovering very well. What I want to know is how difficult is it to rescind some actions made by her daughter. For example:

1. Cancelling a credit card her daughter had put into both their names.
2. Getting her car put back into her name instead of her daughters.
3. stopping the sell of her home that was on a reverse mortgage.

Find Care & Housing
Imho, retain an elder law attorney to get all of these issues taken care of, e.g. rescind the PoA in writing AND notarized, cancel the credit card, get the auto titled in her name and attempt to void the RM IF your MIL is of competent mind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47

If MIL is competent, she needs to revoke the POA in writing, preferably notarized, with copies sent to daughter and any relevant entity, such as the realtor and credit card company. This should be done ASAP.

At the same time, schedule appt with EC atty regarding the car, house and CC.

A lot may hinge on whether MIL is competent, her age, how long she was incapacitate (and to what degree) and what the POA document stated was the POAs responsibility.

As noted in a comment to another, having a stroke doesn't necessarily incapacitate someone. Without knowing more details, such as how long and what degree of incapacity was involved, it sounds like daughter was overstepping her bounds.

My parents had POAs in place long before they were needed. Mom was POA for dad, so we never used ours. Two of us were POAs for mom. When she was showing signs of dementia, difficulty with finances and driving, I used mine to take over bill payment. I had bills mailed to me. We two were already on her primary account. I used the POA to close another, once SS was transferred to the primary, and signed up as Rep Payee for SS later. I also used the POA to sell the car after we took it away (she was a major accident waiting to happen with hearing loss, Mac Deg and dementia!) ALL funds from that were deposited into her account for her care. When her CDs came up for renewal, I cancelled them and all funds were put in a trust for her care. It took me almost 2 years to clear out, clean and get repairs done on her condo so we could sell it. NOTE: the EC atty told me I could sign all other documents with POA, but NOT the deed. SHE had to sign that, notarized, despite living in MC.

What a mess!! Again, not a lot of detail, but it's none of our business... It would be a little easier to advise some issues, if there was more detail, but I would stick with saying revoke the POA in writing, notarized ASAP and get to an EC atty to put a stop to the rest.

MIL should also choose someone else to be POA and ensure it is written up properly, to protect her and her assets/interests!!! Not everyone who is appointed POA is knowledgeable or honest, even family. At some point I said to the EC atty there's nothing in the POA that says I get paid for doing all that I do. He replied there's also nothing in the POA that says I don't get paid. On rare occasions I did use a debit card to get gas, but that's about it. Much less gas than I actually used (that condo was a 3 hour round trip, multiple trips/week for almost TWO years!!!) I still have received nothing for managing everything for her for 6 years.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to disgustedtoo

Many more facts need to be ascertained and put on the table. What is going on? In which direction do the facts lead to cancelling the POA vs. not doing so. Is something going on no one is aware of. No power of attorney can be revoked unless it is put in writing to the POA. In this situation - get to the bottom of what is going on and then consult an eldercare attorney. If this goes wrong, it could cause real problems down the road.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Riley2166

As long as MIL is competent she can revoke her POA anytime. She can revoke and make another POA appointing someone else. I had an attorney once tell me he had a client that regularly made POAs, revoked them over and over again. Canceling the credit card or removing the daughter's name from the credit card should be easily done.

Car and home may be another matter and MIL may need legal assistance.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to cweissp

Why would anyone cancel a POA just because they’re feeling better? We should all have POA in place BEFORE our health and minds fail. Your mother-in-law chose her daughter for a reason, and she may be acting in her best interest. You don’t explain why she (or you) want to change things. Whatever the reason, I hope this potential battle is in your mother-in-laws best interest.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to VickiRuff
disgustedtoo 14 hours ago
"Why would anyone cancel a POA just because they’re feeling better?"

Since there isn't a lot of info provided, it sounds like the cancelling is because daughter is selling everything out from under her mother. A POA is supposed to act as if they ARE you, not act willy nilly however they want.

The questions posed by OP does need more input. MIL's age. How long incapacitated. Is she considered competent (FWIW a stroke doesn't necessarily render one incompetent! My mother was already in MC due to dementia, for almost 4 years before she had a stroke. THAT incapacitated her right/dominant side, and made swallowing and speech more difficult, but it did NOT impact her in any other way - she was still at the same cognitive ability as before the stroke.)

Based on limited information, I'd want to revoke that POA as well!
There may be a lot going on here behind the scenes. Is the situation now adversarial? What is the status of the reverse mortgage sale of the home? who will hold PoA should MIL become ill in the future? I would trot as fast as possible to a good eldercare attorney and see what they have to say are possible options.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to geddyupgo

POA ends with death. Having the daughter on the credit card and bank accounts would save a lot of issues down the road. Elder care attorney is the way to go
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Waterspirit
disgustedtoo 14 hours ago
"...would save a lot of issues down the road." ONLY if she isn't in this for herself. Even if MIL granted the POA to assist with everything during recovery, I certainly would question several of the actions taken:

Opening a CC in both names seems VERY odd. I could understand opening one in my own name and then using MIL's assets to pay for items purchased FOR her.

Transferring ownership of the car? For what purpose? When it was clearly not safe to allow our mother to continue driving (severe hearing loss, Mac Deg and dementia), I sold it as POA and put ALL of the funds into HER account.

Selling her house? WTF??? Even with stroke, MIL very well could return home. One would need to take time to consider how well she might recover. If it was only a few weeks, a month or 2, hold your horses! If it has taken 6 months or more, maybe, but seriously,,,

A POA is supposed to act as if they ARE the person, not act however they want.

There isn't a lot of info provided, such as MIL's age, how long she was incapacitated, what her recovery has been, etc. Just based on what we do have for info, seems like daughter is jumping the gun.
POA is *ONLY* legal if the person is incapacitated and not of sound mind.
By revoking POA you need to have a new one in place. It is best to see an eldercare attorney for this.

Here is an online article how to revoke POA,revoke%20the%20power%20of%20attorney.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to cetude
cweissp 15 hours ago
Cetude, you said: "POA is *ONLY* legal if the person is incapacitated and not of sound mind." That isn't necessarily true. There are limited POAs used granting limited powers. My parents gave me their DPOA before they became incompetent (mom is still competent). They became tired of the day to day dealing with bill paying and reporting on Doc appts.

As POA, I bill pay, and before COVID made dr appts and accompanied them. We had a conversation where I told them I would make no major decisions without their agreement unless they we no longer able to make decisions. Dad has since died and was legally incompetent. Mom is still plugging away I still make no major decisions without her input.

Whether a POA can be used before or after someone becomes incompetent maybe depends on the wording of the document.
One thing that isn't clear from the OP is whether the relationship has become adversarial. If it hasn't, then the question is simply a matter of what the "mechanics" are of reversing such decisions, and the POA should be willing to help. If it IS adversarial, then it will be more complicated.

If the relationship isn't adversarial, I wonder if there is any advantage to revoking the POA as it might become necessary to have it again in the future. The daughter can simply agree not to take any additional actions on her mother's behalf unless/until the latter becomes incompetent.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to jacobsonbob

Geeze, her daughter was a busy lil bee?

As far as the credit card goes, if mom is the main Act Holder and daughter is just a User then the mom can just call up and cancel.

Both the car and house should be easy enough unless either one is already sold.

Juse remove daughter as POA
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to bevthegreat

Wow, this is a challenging series of events. A POA is supposed to work in the best interest of the elder or person for whom they are responsible for listed within the POA.
This brings up some questions?
How long is how long was M.I.L. considered unable to make her own decisions?
Did a doctor tell the daughter her mother was not going to recover?

I would seek an elder care attorney as quickly as possible for the revocation of the POA as anyone can revoke those rights at any time as long as the person is considered mentally competent.
The elder law attorney maybe able to assist or help stop the other actions.
The credit card could constitute fraud. If purchases were made on the credit card during the time that M.I.L. was considered unable to use and purchases were not for the person who your sister in law was in charge of.

How was the Social security money being used? Was it paying the bills for the person who was under the POA at the time of incompetence/illness? Fraud like that happens all the time when the power of being a POA goes to someone's head, or when someone is inexperienced with what the role is.
Make sure the elder attorney looks at what the authority of the POA was at the time all changes were made.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to thingsarecrazy8

Addressing the reverse mortgage issue, it depends on the status of the sale.   If a purchase agreement has been signed, that makes it more difficult, but a real estate attorney should review the PA to determine what options might exist for terminating the sale.   The deposit would obviously have to be refunded.

If no sale has taken place, the PA would also state what needs to be done to terminate the relationship with the realtor and remove the house from active participation in the real estate market.     

Generally as to the POA, was it a springing one, and if so on what conditions?    The wording and authorizations in the POA itself are critical.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to GardenArtist

I’ll assume she was competent when she did the POA and still is now that she is revoking it. I will also assume no allegation (or at least no prosecution) of fraud or abuse.

The POA’s actions on behalf of the principal are pretty much the same as if the principal had done them herself. So it is like she did it herself and changed her mind.

So, canceling the credit card shouldn’t be a problem if there is no balance. Call the number on the back of the card and ask.

Transferring the car back will require the current owner to cooperate and there will be a fee and maybe an inspection. Some jurisdictions require a valid driver’s license and/or insurance to own a car.

Cancelling the sale of the house depends on the contracts. The reverse mortgage probably requires owner occupancy; can she meet the requirement in the time frame specified? Is there a contract with a real estate agent and what does it say about cancellation? Is there a contract with a buyer and how much will it cost to cancel it?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Frebrowser

It is all going to take time and effort and money because IMO she will need a lawyer to certify that she is now competent in order to get anything done.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cwillie

A person can change their POA at any point in time.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

I would see an elder law attorney.

Being POA means that you have a fiduciary responsibility and you can not personally benefit from decisions made on behalf of the person you are representing. You are only entitled to payment if the POA specifically says that you can be paid for doing POA actions.

Not knowing what the intention of the SIL was makes this difficult to help with. Because on one hand she could have been acting in the best interest of her mom. Sell the house to have the money to pay for care, be able to use the credit card to buy mom what she needs, transfer the vehicle to ensure that mom has transportation to appointments without the expense of owning a vehicle or it could be that she is trying to liquidate the assets and increase her savings account.

I would find out what the intentions were before going after her but, I would go after her legally if she was using her POA to benefit herself by taking these actions. Because your MIL will be the one to pay the price, she will also have to be the one to file charges, nobody can do that for her.

A springing POA should state exactly what causes it to kick in and what happens when that criteria is no longer met. Every single one of use should have a POA in place, so what is the plan for MIL in the event that she suffers another stroke and has revoked the POA?

She obviously trusted her daughter to do the right thing. Why has that changed or has it?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal
BL1982 May 5, 2021
She did cancel a joint credit card. Sounds legit.
(edit: misread the post)

I wonder about the reverse mortgage as well.
A POA acts FOR a senior at his or her direction if he or she is competent, and as he or she would wish or in his or her best interest if he or she is NO LONGER competent.
IF your mother is competent, she can now rescind any POA she granted.
To be perfectly safe and certain your mother should see an attorney, elder law, to write a letter discharging her daughter as POA. If she did not simply ADD her daughter to title of car, which is what she should have done, but instead transferred title, that will not be so easy. If she calls her credit card company she can easily remove her daughter from the card, and/or transfer the card. The home is complicated. If it is in the process NOW of being sold you would need a real estate attorney as well as the elder law one, and it may or may not be stopped. If it is not now for sale the daughter cannot act to sell the home once the POA has been taken away.
Truth is that a POA acts for a competent senior ONLY AT THEIR DIRECTION, so once your MIL tells daughter she is not to make a move on anything at all, then the daughter must stop.
This is ALL assuming your MIL is competent. If she is not competent and the daughter has moved to do all this BECAUSE the MIL now needs her POA to act for her it is too late.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AlvaDeer

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter