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POA is also her lawyer have for Mom to sign......paperwork that Mom is of sound mind...and bring "witnesses" from her office to concur? It is on Mom's medical record that she had dementia

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GardenArtist, the OP is wrong about the witnesses were for. A lot of us are wrong about some of the details we observe. That doesn't make the OP a troll.
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pamstegma, the very nice assisted living facility where my daughter works has had a locked unit from its very beginning. They have just expanded that unit by designating six more rooms (and doing the necessary remodeling.) Four people from the regular population will be moved into those "memory care" rooms, leaving 2 openings. The current residents are moving to the "regular" units.

Perhaps it is not the same in every state, but in Minnesota both ALFs and NHs can have secure units for memory care or dementia care.
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mommy23cats I think you are sharing a common misunderstanding about having dementia and signing legal papers.

A person who has been declared by a court to be incompetent to act on his or her own behalf cannot sign legal documents.

Most persons with dementia are never declared incompetent. The issue never goes to court.

So then the question comes down to, can the person with dementia fully understand what she is signing, and understand the consequences. She may think aliens are living in her attic and Elvis Presley sings out of her toothbrush, but if she understands what appointing someone to act on her behalf means, she can do that.

Usually persons are placed in the locked section of an ALF if they are at risk for wandering, or if their behavior is disturbing to other residents. It does not necessarily mean their cognitive skills are worse. (Often they are, but not necessarily.) Being in the locked unit would not necessarily disqualify them from signing a new POA.

So, your mother wanted a new medical POA document, her lawyer drew one up, it was signed and witnessed. (The witnesses were merely verifying that the signature was made by your mother, nothing else.) And it changes the delegated medical decision-maker from you alone to you and your estranged sister. Why on earth would Mother do that? Doesn't matter -- the only reason that would impact its validity would be undue influence. Do you believe that someone pressured her or coerced her to make that change? The lawyer? Your sister? Who? Do you have evidence?

If you have evidence of undue influence, you might want to pursue that, but I imagine that would be difficult to prove.

Does the new document name the two of you jointly as the decision-maker, or is one primary and the other secondary? If you are still primary and sister was added as secondary that should be no problem. She could only act if you could not.

Assume the document your mother signed is perfectly valid -- no trickery or undue influence and she understood what she was doing. That doesn't mean you have to share medical POA responsibility with your sister. You can simply decline to accept that role. Put that in writing and send it to the lawyer and to your mother.

You ask whether the lawyer has a "right" to have mother sign a doc when she has dementia and is in a locked ALF unit. The answer is, yes, that action can be perfectly acceptable and legal. Your mother does not lose her civil rights just because she is in a secure dementia unit. She has the right to change POA documents if she understands what that means.

In order to override the changes and get back to being her sole medical proxy you would need to prove that she did not have capacity to understand what she signed and/or that someone exerted undue influence to make her sign it. Can you do either of those things?
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While Mom was in INDEPENDENT living my sister and I weren't getting along and because years ago Mom (and Dad) had put us as POA's and within the last 5 yrs sister and my relationship went down the toilet, I suggested to Mom that her lawyer become the POA. The lawyer agreed. Mom had been showing signs of dementia for yrs but 5 mos after lawyer became POA Mom HAD to be moved to assisted living and the new facility felt Mom needed to be behind locked doors. POA lives not too far from this new facility. She emailed me that she was going to check up on Mom the following day. I was already questioning POA's actions so I asked her why and her answer was a "just because". So 2 days after her email to me (and 1 day after she visited Mom), POA sent me paperwork that Mom signed w/ 2 reps from POA's office. The paperwork changed the Health Directorship from me to sister and me. Obviously if we weren't getting along this new position put my sister at same level as me...and again, we aren't getting along. But how can Mom sign paperwork that she is of sound mind when if she was she wouldn't be behind locked doors. I initiated a Grievance with the legal board against the atty and they came back with "the panel notes that the complainant (me) was not the client of the respondent (Mom) but rather the complainant is the daughter. The panel concludes that the rules of professional conduct are not applicable" and reference Rule 1.1 and 1.3 expressly relate to attorney-client relationships". To me this lets POA do what she wants and I cannot protect my mother. H E L P !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Uh, oh. Looks like we've been taken in. I completely missed the fact that the alleged mother is in AL. Thanks for the heads-up.
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This is a troll posting because assisted living facilities do not lock in patients and "witnesses" have no legal standing to determine competency.
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Just thinking about this, it makes even less sense. I'm not aware that someone can attest to his/her own soundness of mind.

I think Babalou's right - why don't you just tell us what's really going on here?
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Boy, it sounds like there an awful lot more to this story!
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Did the attorney prepare the POA before your mother was designated as having dementia, or after? If after, is she aware that your mother has dementia? But can your mother still understand enough to know what legal documents she's being asked to sign?

I'm not certain about the concurrence of witnesses as to the sound mind issue. Witnesses typically only witness the execution of documents but don't attest to anything, unless one is a notary and the attestation would only be as to who the person executing the document is.

When I witnessed any documents, I was NEVER asked to address the issue of someone's competency, nor would I have done so because I, and other staffers, had no way of knowing or making that determination.

Something doesn't sound right here. What is the "paperwork" that your mother is being asked to sign, or has she already signed it? How did you learn about this situation? Were you present when the attorney arrived with office staff?

I assume this is a fait accompli already?
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