Can a sibling who has power of a parent’s health affairs become power of attorney without the parent knowing it?

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Can a sibling who has power of a parent’s health affairs become power of attorney without the parent knowing it?

My parent has given my sibling full control (legal) of her health matters (not my father) but says that she does not have power of attorney nor would she give her that and it is only for her health. I told her that she should check with a lawyer since my sister is an estate attorney and has never given my parents advice of where they should go to have their estate handled. I told my mother if she has legal power of her health, how does she know if that does not also consist being power of attorney.

Asked on August 2, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A durable power of attorney for health care is separate from a general power of attorney to handle financial matters.  Your mother has to sign a power of attorney for it to be effective.  Since she hasn't signed a power of attorney over her financial affairs, no power of attorney is in effect.  Since she signed the durable power of attorney for health care, that is in effect for your sister to make decisions about your mother's health care.


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