Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I need a power of attorney over my elderly parent who lives in another state. What should I do?

In Texas we have a statutory power of attorney. However, many banks and other places require that you use their form. I need a lot more information in order to adequately answer your question. Where are the assets? Do you have siblings? Is your parent married? What is your parent's mental and physical state? If the assets are in another state, you need a poa from that state. You definately need to retain the services of an elder law attorney or a probate/wills & estates attorney that specializes in this area of the law. In Texas we have 2 kinds of poa -- medical and financial. They are very different. An elder law attorney might be able to help you and offer solutions that you have not considered. Even if your parent signs the document, the parent can revoke it later. Also, you will be held to a very high standard regarding spending their money. If you have family members, I highly recommend that you talk to them and try to get them on your side. Otherwise, you could end up in court litigating your parent's life and spending all their money. I've seen people spend over $100,000 when 2 adult siblings can't agree what was right for their mother. She eventually died and the problem was solved. Neither sibling inherited anything -- but the attorneys were very happy! Please talk to an attorney immediately. You could save thousands of dollars!

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