Is it legal for the POA to take mom's name off of her property and put it in their name? - AgingCare.com

Is it legal for the POA to take mom's name off of her property and put it in their name?

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My mother has dementia and my sister is the POA. I found out this week that my sister (POA) has taken mothers name off of her property (home) and put into her name as the owner of the property.

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If the POA gives the attorney-in-fact/agent the authority for real estate dealings, then it could happen.

Have you asked your sister why she did this? Sometimes, there are good reasons to do something like this, such as Medicaid qualification (assuming this is being done in advance of the look-back period). Sometimes, it's not done for valid reasons. But asking why may be a good start.

I am the POA for my mother-in-law. I'm happy to share my reasons for my actions with my spouse and MIL's brother if they ask. I take my POA responsibilities seriously. As a POA, my duties are to act in my MIL's best interests, and as such, I document my actions and the "how and why" I came to my decision just in case. You might start with asking the question to your sister, and go from there.

Best wishes.
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Sherri, this isn't meant to be a criticism, but the issue is important. No one can "take" someone else's name off title. The individual, i.e., your mother, has to sign to release her interest, via a quit claim deed, or by a warranty deed in which she signs and conveys her interest to someone else.

So, if your mother didn't agree, I'm assuming she didn't sign and that her signature was forged, or:

However, depending on the stage of her dementia, it is possible that your sister acted pursuant to a POA that gives her that authority.

Since you write that your mother is still coherent, I'm wondering if she knew about the conveyance before it happened, after it happened, and/or how she found out? Also, was the deed recorded?

Could you also clarify this statement:
"The property is willed to her but mom has not passed away yet . " Is your sister the only person to inherit the house on your mother's death? Or did she hold title jointly with your mother?

These technicalities can make a difference in determining whether sister's action was legal and appropriate, or not.
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Another possibility was that only the father's name was on the deed and the sister was left the house in his will. There are many things to check out here. In older days men often held property in only their name. Unless Father left the house to Mother in the will, then it would go to the person named.
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You mention that the will was probated, which in my legal world, means that the court was involved. The court likely would have addressed real estate in the probate proceeding and you could review the court records as to how the real estate was handled.

The transfer of the property would be part of the public record with the county recorder's office. If it was via POA, the POA should have been recorded with the deed at the same time (unless the POA was already recorded prior to the transfer). If it was because of the probate court, that order is usually recorded as well, or at least referenced.

As a legal professional, I'd like to be able to give a better response, but the information is still lacking. There are things you can do on your own to ascertain how it was transferred by going either to the county recorder's office, or checking online (if available in that jurisdiction), or perhaps hiring someone to research the transfer for you.
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Elder Attorney time.
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That sounds really shady. A POA is not supposed to be used for personal enrichment. I would check the validity of that transfer. It could be that your sister bought your mother out, which would be valid. I would check in to it to make sure your mother's finances aren't being abused.
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Chancery court, probate court and tax assessor are all open records.

Most courthouses have readily available low cost or even free downloads of documents. Or you can trot down to CH and go to each department & pay to get files pulled. Take cash as CC will have a fee attached and checks will require a hold to clear.

You need to clearly know just what was filed & in what name. There too much speculation as it stands now.

If house was distributed via probate judge order, it went though a specific & pretty precise legal process & gonna be valid.
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My POA gave me the right to sell and buy but nothing about being able to change to me as owner. This would be a problem with Medicaid five year look back if u ever need it.

Just curious, why is sister being left the house when u were the one to take care of ur parents.
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Mother says she didn't give her permission to take her name off . The property is willed to her but mom has not passed away yet . And we are not trying to get her on Medicaid . This process was done after my dad passed away last oct and the will was probated . My sister did not give mother any money to her for the house. I have lived with my parents for the last 2 years to take care of them. Mom dad was 91 when he passed and mom is 84 . She has dementia but is still coherent and know what she wants.
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If the house was originally a joint tenancy between the parents, it would have gone to the mom at her husband's death without probate (at least in California). There could be major tax implications to the sister's transferring the property--it definitely needs to be looked at by an expert (or two).
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