Can a sibling change a Power of attorney without notifying the other sibling?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a sibling change a Power of attorney without notifying the other sibling?

My sister who has been gone for 30 years and doesn’t even live near us has come down and put my mother into a nursing home and changed her durable general power of attorney and her will without my knowledge. I went up to the nursing home today to take her out for a ride and the nurse told me I can’t take her anywhere because my sister has a new power of attorney that she’s put into place stating that she’s the only one that’s allowed to take her anywhere. I’m not sure what to do and my sister is threatening not to see her anymore if she changes anything.

Asked on August 22, 2015 under Estate Planning, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Your sibling cannot change your mother's POA or will only your mother can do that. If your mother was mentally competent at the time, then the changes would most likely be valid a person can change her POA and will at any time she wants, and is not obligated to inform anyone such as another child. Note this also assumes that the POA and will are valid on their face--that is, they are properly signed, witnessed, notarized, etc. If they are not, then they may be invalid simply for not being executed properly, and if invalid, the prior POA and will would still be in effect.
There are some grounds to invalidate even the properly executed will POA of a mentally competent person, such as "undue influence" the will and POA were changed in accordance with the desires of, or to benefit, someone who had disproportionate power or influence over the other person, such as the caregiver for a mentally competent but physically frail or disabled person, but these can be hard--not impossible, but hard--to show, since the law presumes that a will, etc. created by a mentally competent person is valid.
If your mother was not mentally competent at the time the new will and POA were created, they are not valid. 
Under these circumstances, you should consult in detail with an elder law attorney. He or she can explain your options, such as how to gain access to your mother to verify that she executed these instruments of her own free will and that they are validly executed or what to do if you suspect that you mother may not have been competent when she created them. The facts are critical, so you need to discuss the facts in detail with a lawyer.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption