What can I do when a person who has power of attorney will not act on those powers?

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What can I do when a person who has power of attorney will not act on those powers?

My grandmother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and she signed her

healthcare and financial power of attorney over to a friend of hers. My grandmother was not of sound mind when she signed these documents over. She is living alone and is not caring for herself. She has a bad fall that resulted in a neck surgery and a car accident in which she blacked out and hit a parked car. She does not remember to eat or take her medications as necessary. I feel these are all circumstances in which she is not mentally capable to live on her own. I am her granddaughter and would like to move her to a safe place where she can get

the care she needs. However, the power of attorney stops me from doing that. Her friend will not take her to the doctor or monitor her finances. What can I do?

Asked on October 29, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action (lawsuit) in chancery court (a divison or part of county court) to have your grandmother declared mentally incompetent and have someone (e.g. yourself) appointed her legal guardian or conservator (both terms are used). You will need medical evidence of incompetence, such as reports and testimony by physicians who have examined and/or treated her, and found cognitive impairment. If you wish to explore this option, consult with an elder law attorney about the situation--you don't want to try to do this on your own without a lawyer's assistance.


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