How do I enforce my power of attorney responsibilities?...

A fellow caregiver asked...

I have caregiver, POA and sole trustee responsibilities for my 83-year-old mother with Alzheimer's, who lives with me. My adult daughter is exerting undue influence, encouraging my mother to do things -- mostly banking -- behind my back. How can I prevent things from being done without my knowledge and protect my mother from being influenced to give away money that is not in her best interests?

Expert Answer

You have full legal authority over your mother's finances. The question is, how do you enforce the POA in the real world, against a daughter who seems intent on subverting the POA? That is not an easy question to answer. In theory, you could take your daughter to court, and seek an order prohibiting her from interfering with your legal responsibility under the POA. But that would be, at best, a cumbersome and expensive process. And even you obtained an court order, it would not be self-enforcing. If your daughter violated the order, you'd have t return to court yet again.So, in my opinion, court proceeding are out.

So you need to find practical, real-world remedies. I do not know how your daughter manages to get your mother (her grandmother) to give away money that are not in her best interest. Is it sensible to prohibit your daughter from seeing your mother? Another possibility is to use your POA power to transfer your mother's money into accounts you alone control. Of course, you would have the legal responsibility to use these funds only in your mother's best interest. There may well be other practical steps you can take to protect your mother's interest. Unfortunately, those steps are not ones a lawyer can help you with.