Can my wife and myself legally relocate her father even if my wife’s brother has POA and disagrees with this?

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Can my wife and myself legally relocate her father even if my wife’s brother has POA and disagrees with this?

My father-in-law has stated that he wants to return to his former state of residence. He has recently had a fall and has a broken hip and wrist. My brother-in-law has placed him in a rehab that is an hour away from his residence. My wife wants to rehab him here, then we plan to move him in with us. What can we do legally?

Asked on February 5, 2016 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Is your father-in-law still mentally competent? If so, then he can relocate where ever he wants and you can assist him. An attorney-in-fact (the person with the POA) can *not* override the wishes of his principal (the person who gave him the POA): a POA lets one person act for another when the second is unavailable, not present, busy, etc. but doesn't make the attorne-in-fact the "boss" or guardian of his principal, and the principal can override the attorney-in-fact at will. (Think of it this way: the principal is the president of a small business. Because he's very busy, he hires someone to be his manager and take care of things for him, and that person is the attorney-in-fact--but the president is still the president, and the manager cannot overrule his boss.) So if your father-in-law wants to relocate, he can, and he just needs to make his wishes clear; if his son is being difficult, the father-in-law can revoke the POA (in writing) and cancel his son's power entirely.


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