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Who can act as power of attorney?

My dad and sister both live alone together. My sister suffers from parkinson's disease, lupus and anxiety depression. My father is 87 and has to have a knee replaced. We know nothing of their future plans other than that they are Power of Attorney for each other. Their situation is becomming desperate. I have two other sisters and one out of town brother. I am the only one that understands that my sister will need assisted living and I do not think my father will return home after his knee surgery. I nor the rest of my family know nothing about power of attorney. My disabled sister does not want to face the fact that she will need assisted living.
What can we do? Who could act as a power of attorney? Do we need a social worker? What would it take if a lawyer became our power of attorney; would that be too expensive?
Status: Open    Mar 03, 2015 - 07:51 AM

Elder Law

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Expert Answers

Jul 23, 2015 - 12:37 PM

A mentally competent adult may appoint whomever they choose as his or her attorney-in-fact so long as that appointed person is an adult and able to carry out the duties that the appointment entails. In a situation where a person has not appointed an attorney-in-fact through a valid Power of Attorney and that person is no longer mentally capable of handling his or her affairs, a guardianship proceeding through the court system may be necessary.

Jul 23, 2015 - 12:51 PM

That sounds like a tough situation. If your father and/or sister name you as their agent under a power of attorney, you will be able to assist them, but they would still have the power to make their own financial and health care decisions as long as they are competent to do so. Your role is to advise and encourage them to make good decisions. If you believe they are incompetent to make decisions, you might consider involuntary commitment or a incompetency proceeding, but those are drastic measures that should only be employed when necessary.

Jul 23, 2015 - 02:07 PM

Your dad and sister can name whomever they want as Agent under a power of attorney. That person does not need to be an Ohio resident. The person who handles finances under a durable financial power of attorney can, but does not need to be the same person named under a Health Care Power of Attorney.

Jul 30, 2015 - 10:49 AM

G enerally speaking, anyone that meets the following two requirements can be a power of attorney: (1) they are 18 and older; and (2) they are mentally competent. Practically speaking, you want someone who you can trust and will execute your wishes and desires.


Mar 08, 2015 - 05:51 PM

This does not address the POA question but it might help in another way.
Have you looked at Assisted Living locations that will accept both of them and allow them to stay in the same apartment?
This way both of them will fee comfortable and be able to help each other but will also have help near by if it is needed.
You may be looking at Guardianship rather than POA. And it might be Guardianship for both your Father and your Sister. I would take to the lawyer that drew up the origional POA since they are fimiliar with the family situation.

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