How to remove a dishonest POA? - AgingCare.com

How to remove a dishonest POA?

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An elderly friend of mine died a year ago. My elderly aunt was her POA and my sister is listed as second. A little over a year ago, when my aunt fell and broke her hip, my sister took over as POA. At this time the elderly friend was alive. 4 months later, the elderly friend died. Since then, sister has not done any of the necessary paperwork to settle her rather large estate and won't return the lawyer or anyone else's calls...including mine. Apparently if this goes on for three years the estate just goes unclosed and she can take the money. There is a large sum of money involved in this estate. 4 years ago my sister did the same thing with our fathers estate. I couldn't believe it was happening so I just let it go figuring that it would work out in the legal system....my dad did have a will and she and I were to split everything. She was executor of his estate. 3 years went by and then I got a letter from the court saying that they could remedy the situation, case closed. I never received my 1/2 but worse....much worse, I lost a sister. Now....I am watching my sister do this all over again with my deceased friend. My question....what can be done to remove someone or stop someone from doing this? It's so frustrating to sit back and watch. The deceased lady has almost no family, I am pretty much all she has to help her (she would want her estate settled properly). But I am not family and not listed on any paperwork etc. is there anything that can be done to stop my sister from stealing this money? I can not afford to hire a lawyer myself and just don't know what to do. Are there any agencies that can help DECEASED elderly?

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I'm so sorry about this mess. It's true that a POA expires after death. Then it's up to the executor. If your sister is executor, she's in charge. If not, whoever is executor is. I don't understand why your father's estate was let go by the system as it was. The executor is, by law, required to follow the will. In this case, with the friend, there's not likely a lot you can do short of legal action. You could call your state's attorney's office and see if there some pro bono (free) help for a case like this.

Please let us know if you make progress.
Carol
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Call an Elder Law Attorney in your state they should be able to direct you.
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From what I had been told, POA's normally expire upon death. Of course, an attorney would know what loopholes may exist otherwise. If your friend has relatives, it might be best to just contact them for a discussion. legalzoom/power-attorney-end-upon-death-20235.html
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This question seems to be missing some very important details. A POA does not give anyone the right to make decisions for the issuer of the POA. A POA is intended so that a person can execute documents and use their signature to tend to matters per the issuer of the POAs instructions. Many people accept this as the rigth to make decisions for someone. In order to make decisions for someone you need Guardianship. Guardianship is a much more complicated process that requires lawyers and psychiatrists to affirm that the subject is not able to make those decisions. If there is a POA that is making decisions for the subject there is a court process to stop it but it is hard to stop or prove because the subject may have conditions that limit there cognitive ability which makes it difficult to follow through with an objection. adding to this is a public perception that a POA gives the right to make decisions and will be accepted as such.

In no case should a POA be valid after death. There must be an appointed executor. If there is none due to a lack of a will the court will take over. This is usually done by the office of the County Surrogate. You must file an objection to the will with the county Surrogate in order to stop the process and have them examine the will. To do so go to a lawyer and initiate a Contest to the will.
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I also understand that POA expires upon death. The executor of your friend's estate should be taking care of her estate. Did your friend have a will? Is your sister executor of your friend's estate? I wish I could be more help.
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POA dies with the person. The executor ( or Personal Representstive) manages the distribution of the estate. The executor is named in the will, but if this executor is incompetent or dishonest another person can be named. The executor has to keep careful records to prove that the estate is distributed as the deceased wished. If there is no will and no named executor that changes how the estate is handled. Then the state court system becomes more involved. You need to consult a lawyer to find out what will happen and how to make a claim.
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I have a son who 2 years ago when his grandfather (my dad) was 92, he came to the house and had my dad sign papers. For what? Well, dad thought or so he says anyway, that they were divorce papers, as my son was recently divorced. Just didn't sound right, so I called my son. Nope, not divorce papers, and not my business and I was called a vile name. I since found out that they were papers using my dad's house as collateral on a $100,000 mortgage for my son's business. It's actually a Line of Credit. I also have POA for my dad. He's been diagnosed with dementia and the bank knows this. Rather than deal with my son, I went right to an elder care attorney. Evidently my son either knew dad had dementia back in 2012, or he chose not to believe it. Dad had also added my son as co-executor of his will back in about 2007. I am executor, as I am an only child. My point is that if you have concerns about the credibility of your sister, if an elder care attorney says there is nothing you can do, then you have to let it go. But I sure would speak to the attorney!
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My sister and I had to go to court to have a corrupt LLC removed from my Mom's care. They were burning off her estate by having the "Guardian" leg of their business in conjunction with the "Executor" leg of their business rapidly attempt to bankrupt her. My Mom was recently widowed and suffered from dementia. I heartily recommend having separate businesses address guardianship and executorship. So sad that there are wolves out there preying upon the elderly and infirm!
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In my state (TX), one has to go probate court with the will to be named Executor. No one will do anything with the estate or for the person named executor until he/she has Letters Testamentary given by the court. Then the court requires named heirs to be notified via letter, requires various forms delineating the valuables of the estate and then a final report about distribution. These are public records and anyone can request them, as I understand it, so go to the county where your parent died and request a copy. If the estate was valuable, this is worth it!
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May I ask, how much money do you feel you lost, in your father's estate? And in the current estate? Is it ten grand, or half a million? I'm just trying to get a sense of the scope here. It wouldn't be worth hiring an attorney for under 40-50, 000. But if its more like 500, 000 then yes you should find a way to hire an attorney. This sounds far too complicated to get any reliable answer here on Aging Care, except that unfortunately you need a lawyer, and, most lawyers will give a free short consultation, and if they cannot help they will let you know that really quickly. Anf maybe refer you to someone who can handle it.
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