Does my patient or the POA have final say?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 20, 2016
Netter asked...

I am currently the caregiver for an elderly friend of the family. His wife passed away in March 2010. He is unable to take care of himself and asked my family and I to move in. We did so 3 weeks ago. The POA is now telling me we cannot live here due to deed restrictions. Can you help me with this situation or tell me what his rights are in this matter? We are supposed to have a meeting today at 6pm central time so if you can get back with me before then it would be greatly appreciated.

Expert Answers

Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City and KRLA in Los Angeles. He is a practicing lawyer specializing in estate planning and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court. He's a public speaker and commentator who has appeared on many radio and television shows throughout the country, and he's the legal editor of Talkers magazine, the preeminent trade publication of talk radio. His latest book is The Truth About Avoiding Scams.

If your elderly friend is of sound mind he is able to override the determination of the person acting through the Durable Power of Attorney on his behalf.

It is unlikely that the deed to his home has enforceable restrictions as to the people who may temporarily live in the home. However, there may be zoning limitations on the number of unrelated people living in a residence or there may be restrictions placed on the use of the home through subdevelopment regulations that may affect your ability to live there. Your best course of action is to contact a lawyer to review whatever restrictions the agent acting under the Durable Power of Attorney is alleging apply to you to determine if indeed the regulations do apply to you and if they are legally enforceable.