UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022
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We are having issues with a family member who has power of attorney of my mother-in-law’s affairs. She is currently in assisted living and her money is running out. The house is already sold. We want to pre-pay for her funeral now but the family member is not cooperating. Is there a legal document that can release the other family members from any liabilities due to this family members mishandling of assets?
Asked on February 13, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Jersey
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 6 years ago | Contributor
It is unclear why you need a document "releas[ing] other family members due to this family member's mishandling of assets"--other family members are NOT liable for any costs, debts, etc. incurred by your mother-in-law, whether on her own or due to her attorney-in-fact's or agent's (that's the term for the person given power by the POA) actions: one adult is not liable for another adult's debts, even a family member's debts, unless and only if he or she agrees to assume them or pay for something.
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