How do I get my mom power of attorney over my dad?

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How do I get my mom power of attorney over my dad?

My dad has become confused and is depressed. My mom needs to get power of attorney over my dad’s financial records such as 401K. How do we do this?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your father is still mentally competent--and even if he is confused and depressed, he may well still be compentent; the bar to be considered incompetent for legal purposes is very high--the only way for someone to get a power of attorney (POA) over his finances is if he grants that person a POA--which is something he can do at any time, by executing the POA in the other person's favor.

If your father is not competent anymore, then the answer is not a POA; it's to have your mother appointed his guardian, which  requires a court determination as to both his incomptentence and where his best interests lie.

You and your mother should speak with an attorney specializing in guardianships and/or in elder law (if your father is elderly) to discuss this situation and see what to do.


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