Answer: This type of question comes up frequently and the answer depends upon the details of the Power of Attorney document that your mother signed back when she had capacity. Each state has its own standards with regard to the construction of durable power of attorney rights, but even within that variation, it depends upon what the lawyer who drafted the agreement did or did not include. If your family was my client, I would advise your brother that it is always best for the person who is serving as POA to be as transparent as possible in performing his duties, but in the end of the day, it is up to that person (the POA) to manage your mother’s affairs in accordance with the POA document and his best judgment. While you can’t “force” your brother (the POA) to include you and your sibling in decision-making regarding your mother’s affairs, you can request that he does so. Perhaps you can suggest that the three of you hold a family meeting (either in person or by phone) to discuss things. If you are concerned that the POA will refuse or that the conversation might quickly become unpleasant, you might want to suggest that the POA engage an objective third party to facilitate the meeting. This person’s fees would be paid for either from your mother’s funds or equally by the three of you. The third party could be the attorney who drafted the original agreement, another attorney, a family transition coach, or any other neutral party with skill and experience in such situations.
To find competent elder care professionals who are located near You and can help you with this type of elder care matter, go to: www.ElderCareMatters.com – A FREE online source to find elder care experts plus information & answers about a wide range of elder care matters.
Sheri Samotin, President
LifeBridge Solutions, LLC
Naples, Florida 34108
Member of the ElderCare Matters Alliance, Florida chapter
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