Follow
Share

He has had POA 11 yrs. I would like to know if we get married....is his son still the responsible person with financial and property decisions and I have no rights ? I am the medical POA listed.

Find Care & Housing
This is a tricky question, and worth stepping back to think about. There is often advice to be careful about a POA to a LO who is the same age – you can both decline together and then neither one can act. Is this the reason why son was made the POA eleven years ago? Is something going wrong with the relationship between you, son and SO, or are you just worried about what might happen in view of the lack of rights? What are the actual risks – lack of rights is a worry in the abstract, but is there a lot of money involved or does the son want to sell up assets? Do you have financial protection yourself, or are you dependent on SO? Do you fear that son is trying to get you out of his father's life?

Your SO has ‘mild dementia’. Has he been officially diagnosed as lacking legal competence? In my own family, several POAs have been given when someone is travelling overseas, and certainly not incompetent. Is the POA drafted like this, so that son can act if there is no diagnosis? If not, do you and SO agree that SO is incompetent? Or has son been acting by an informal agreement for convenience? There can be a big difference between showing symptoms of mild dementia and being unable to participate in major life changing decisions.

Eleven years ago things were probably different. This might be a good time for you and SO to sit down with a lawyer or financial advisor and think how you want to do things now. If you are still on reasonable terms with son, include him as well. If SO is still legally competent, it is essential to get all the ducks in a row ASAP. That might include marriage, a new POA, or a more helpful arrangement with son.

Please get some intelligent and experienced advice based on your full situation.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MargaretMcKen
Report
HVsdaughter Mar 27, 2019
Love the way you covered all the angles, Margaret!
(2)
Report
If his dementia is accompanied by enough cognitive impairment to allow a POA to kick in, it's very likely that a marriage license would be out of the question due to his inability to legally consent. I'd suggest that you speak to an attorney to determine where you stand in your state.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to faeriefiles
Report
Frogmoor258 Mar 24, 2019
We are working on that. My SO did give a letter to Morgan Stanley revoking the POA, but they will not honor it. Also, the POA written 11 years ago is the general POA, his son (POA) can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants be his father competent or incompetent.
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
This is a general statement for all readers, not a judgement on anyone's life choice/style. Just watching Judge Judy (started this year) have to handle cases where people were partners for years, decades, had kids together, but when it turned ugly for any reason, and one sued the other in her court (a $5K limit on damages, but often it is the advice they want) Judge indicated THIS is why we have laws and systems in place for legally married couples. If you fail to ever protect your partner and yourself there is nothing a court can force if you are one day unhappy, if they took all your 'stuff', spent your money, etc. There is great value to following or using the rules of society to protect oneself and their partner, or offspring, property, etc. Co habitation has a far lesser manner of strength of claim in any court. as we all see in just about any legal issue.

For the OP, they did not say if it was a male-male- or f-f partnership, or a M-F one, so that may make a difference in THIS case. But 30 years and NOT addressing care for each other, and emergencies, etc. in later years? I just don't understand, 11 years ago something happened where the partner named their son, for what ever reason. that may be the key to this..
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to PrivateCitizen
Report

LOL, worried, I certainly did not read it that way!

My mom married at age 80 with POA in place to daughters. Getting married did not change the documents. I can see why many would have a child as POA and not change it to a new spouse. There are too many horror stories out there about financial exploitation.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to gladimhere
Report

Why would you marry at this point. I hope you haven't co-mingled your money. If you have a joint account, I wouldn't want the POA able to get to it. If you do, I would check with the bank how will this be handled if a POA gets involved. Will your half be protected. Or what you can prove you deposited.

But your question was if you marry would son still make financial decisions for Dad, answer is yes. We have had posters who have step children and when the spouse becomes incompetent the child with the POA takes over even when the couple have been together for years.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Frogmoor258, since your sig other has mild dementia, is there a time during the day when he is thinking more clearly? If so, and he is in agreement, make an appointment with an Elder Law Attorney set for that clearer time of day to update any legal documents. I had to do that with my very elderly parents. The Attorney will either speak with sig other alone, or if your sig other wants you in the meeting, be sure to let sig other answer all the questions directed to him.

I am a sig other, too, but we have zero plans to get married. We both have seen an Elder Law Attorney, have Revocable Trusts all set up.... POA for each other with back-up's in case neither of us are able or want to continue as POA.... Medical Directives... and other legal paperwork. Every year we tweak the paperwork.

We have kept our finances separate, never co-mingled any funds.

Reason I will not get married has to do with sig other's two grown children [in their 40's]. They are very protected of their father which is normal, and I feel by marrying it would just throw wrenches into the whole family unit. In fact, if sig other should pass on, I will let the back-up POA take over, the back-up is the Elder Law Attorney. Let the grown children gnaw in her ear trying to get more money out of the Estate. They won't get far !!
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to freqflyer
Report
JoAnn29 Mar 27, 2019
POA is done at time of death. The lawyer would have to be Executor at that point.
(1)
Report
See 2 more replies
If the POA is in effect then getting married won’t change anything. And if it’s in effect because your SO is incompetent then you probably won’t be able to marry him.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to worriedinCali
Report

Much as I appreciate people taking the time to answer, I believe this is a question for a lawyer. Laws vary by state and marriage in particular is a state matter. For example, are we talking community property state or not? Perhaps you need a prenuptial agreement? Please get your legal and financial ducks in a row now and definitely before you marry.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Toadhall
Report
MargaretMcKen Mar 27, 2019
Absolutely, and first think through questions in my first post. Otherwise the lawyer will send you away to think about your answers.
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Why would you marry someone with dementia? If that person is declared incompetent, you likely cannot marry them anyway.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Reno55
Report
Frogmoor258 Mar 27, 2019
He has mild dementia. The main problem is that he has NOT been declared incompetent by any court of law - there is a medical note/form that his investment firm (Morgan Stanley) has from his son that "claims" he cannot handle his financial affairs, so my SO son who is POA has taken over. We have talked to a lawyer, he is try to work on getting POA revoked. Morgan Stanley keeps claiming that they have in effect the "law" from SEC about elder fraud etc, that was put in effect Jan. 2018
(0)
Report
See 1 more reply
Am I missing something? Can't he give you durable Poa and void his sons if he has'nt been diagnoised?
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to kinesiology
Report

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter