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

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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