Siblings disagree over selling parent's house

4 answers | Last updated: Aug 26, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

Do I have any rights as a sibling? My sister has power of attorney and wants to sell my mom's house in New York. Mom's still alive in a nursing home & not deemed incompetent..

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

Since your sister has power of attorney, she can make financial decisions on your mom’s behalf. To sell your mom's house, the power of attorney document your mother signed needs to be all-encompassing, or it should specifically state that your sister has the power to sell your mother's real estate assets.

If you can't convince your mother to revoke the power of attorney, the only way to challenge your sister's authority is to go to court and petition to be your mother's guardian or conservator. This is a time consuming and expensive process. You would also have to demonstrate that your sister is not acting in the capacity to which she was appointed.

Community Answers

Dagaro answered...

If your sister has poa, is she paying bills for your mother?. If your mother is in a nursing home perhaps they are requiring more money than your mother has and therefore your sister may need to sell the home

Zippy do da answered...

You need to find out what type of POA your sister has there are 2 types of POA. The Durable POA which gives the person the right to sell property (complete authority to all financial issue). I can't remember what the other one is call. You also need to ask your sister if the up keep of the house is getting to be a financial burden. This might be the case.

A fellow caregiver answered...

My grandmother sisters' wants to sell there mother land (in Puerto Rico), but 5 of her sibling do not want to sell (3 of them do). There is no "Will" signed and 1 sister has resided in the property since she was born (now in her 50's). Can they forces a sell? If there is no "Will" and no executor appointed who is left in charge (the oldest child living?).