How can we get power of attorney over my wife's uncle when he's incapacitated and has no active identification?

2 answers | Last updated: Jan 02, 2014
A fellow caregiver asked...

My wife's uncle has had a series of strokes and is now in a care facility.  No one has a power of attorney and he has no active identification, nor can he sign his name. How can we see that his bills get paid?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Even though your wife’s uncle has suffered the effects of strokes, you may still be able to obtain a power of attorney for him if he has the legal capacity to order one. In the eyes of the law, this means he must understand the nature, scope and effect of the document.

The laws in all states allow another person to sign to finalize the document as long as the person for whom it is made has the required legal capacity.

If your relative has this capacity, you should be able to get the help you need from the patient representative or ombudsperson at the care facility. If not, consider using a self-help resource such as Nolo, or hiring an attorney for this very limited purpose."¨"¨

If he lacks this mental capacity, you may then need to get a conservatorship, which will give an appointed person the legal right to manage his money and remaining property. Your first best source to consult for help is the local probate court. Many of them have good self-help centers or advisers available to help walk you through the procedure.

Community Answers

Z-ma answered...

My parents had their Powers of Attorneys and Wills made at two lawyers' offices in the 1990's. There were no provisions for anyone outside the immediate family and no provisions for a third Power of Attorney. My mother was placed in a nursing home for a hip replacement which was also turned into she being diagnosed as having Moderate to Advanced Dementia, Senile, and lacked mental capacity. According to the POA's she fell into my father's care. My father passed away, my cousin coerced my mother into signing an unauthorized Power of attorney, used the fraudulent unauthorized POA to gain access to my mother's care, accounts at the banks, the insurance companies and gained access to my parents property. She violated the Power of Attorney Act on several accounts and crossed state lines to se undue influence on my mother. Because she broke Federal Laws I have recruited the assistance of the FBI. This is not a case concerning siblings. The cousin invited herself. The true Powers of Attorneys were by my Parents hand. I, being the only child, was also specifically named as their Executor to take charge of my parents' affairs if they could not act on their own behalf. I filed a complaint with our local FBI office who will turn it over t te local FBI office near where the crimes were committed. My parents deceased one year and one day apart. There appears to be offenses of Fraud, Embezzlement, Interference of a duly appointed Executor of the Estate, with the naming of the nursing home my mother was in, the banks, the insurance companies, the police and the DA as accessories to the crimes, for failure to cooperate and interference with a duly appointed Executor of the Wills and Powers of Attorneys.