If someone has Power of Attorney over their elderly father, is making sure they have food in the refrigerator part of their duties?

I live 300 miles away from my 84 year old father; when I go to visit him at least every other month (if I can afford) there is little to no food in the fridge. Staples such as toilet paper, trash bags, basically, items needed to run a household, are not in stock. Each time I visit him I have to take him to get groceries and clean his house because it is so unkempt. I am in the low income bracket, working poor and my brother is very wealthy, owns a car dealership and has 2 homes he is paying for.

Asked on August 22, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the situation.  An attorney in fact - the agent appointed under the Power of Attorney - generally deals with either specific duties listed in the POA (such as sale of house, paying bills, etc.) or in a general POA can act on behalf of the principal (your Dad) in all capacities. Although one would think that does mean more than paying bills by keeping him fed and taken care of, a POA fiduciary is not necessarily bound to act at all if he or she does not wish to.   what I think that you need to do is to file to be the conservator and guardian of your Father and possibly move him closer to you so that he is well taken care of.  Go see some one at the department of social services or department for the aging with your Dad.  Good luck.

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