Question of the Day on "My elderly parents are failing. It's a complicated situation, but I got a Durable POA to protect my mom's assets if my dad passes before my mom. My dad is named as the primary POA, in case my mom passes before my dad. I am named as the secondary. My question is if my dad passes before my mom, and since I am named as secondary on the POA forms, does that mean I automatically become the primary POA for my mother? Will I have the authority to make decisions regarding her estate? What other things should I know about being name "secondary" POA?. Also, I live in a different state than my parents, but the POA forms were created using the laws of their home state. Does living in another state have any impact on transferring authority from the primary to the secondary POA?"

Answer:  If the power of attorney (POA) is valid in the state in which it was written, it should be valid in any state even if you are the secondary agent. You may have to prove that the primary has died through a death certificate. Assuming the POA grants you the right to make decisions regarding your mother’s assets such as the power to write checks, to pay bills and deposit checks payable to your mother, living in another state should have no impact on a transfer of authority. One note of caution: The bank may view and make a copy of the original POA, but under no circumstances should they keep the original document. You will need the original document in the event your mother has assets with more than one financial institution.

To find competent, caring elder care professionals across America who are located near You and can help you with your elder care matters, go to: – A FREE online resource to find elder care experts plus elder care information & answers to your elder care questions.

William “Bill” Brown, Attorney at Law
2999 E. Dublin-Granville Road
Suite 217
Columbus, Ohio  43231-4030
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Ohio chapter

Stay in Touch with Elder Care Matters

 Facebook  Twitter  Google Plus  Linked  Blogger

eNewsletter Sign Up

ElderCare Answers

If you need answers to your elder care questions, send your questions to us at:

Answers are provided by our ElderCare Matters Partners, some of America's TOP Elder Care Professionals who have years of experience in helping families plan for and deal with a wide range of Elder Care / Senior Care Services.

All Q&A's are posted on the homepage of

ElderCare Matters Articles

ElderCare Matters Articles are useful and up-to-date Elder Care / Senior Care articles that are provided by our ElderCare Matters Partners to help you plan for and deal with your family's elder care matters.

If you help familes plan for or deal with elder care matters, then you owe it to yourself and to families across America to become a professional member of the National ElderCare Matters Alliance and to be listed on the many Elder Care / Senior Care Directories that are sponsored by this National Alliance of Elder Care Professionals.

For additional information about professional membership in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, (including the many benefits of becoming one of our ElderCare Matters Partners) and to download an Application for your Basic, Premium or Partner Membership in the National ElderCare Matters Alliance, visit: ElderCare Matters Alliance.