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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
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My mother is in an assisted living home. She is nearly deaf

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My mother is in an assisted living home. She is nearly deaf and has alzheimer's. My little sister just aquired power of attorney to handle my mothers finances on Feb 8,2012. My older sister and myself want to contest this. Do we have any legal avenues we can employ ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. Please remember that there might be a delay between your follow ups and my replies because I am typing out my answer, or taking a quick break.

I am sorry for your mother's situation. The answer is yes. An interested party may contest the Power of Attorney, normally by filing in Court. If you specifically wish to contest the POA and also at the same time get a court-appointed agency power, you may wish to file for Adult Guardianship. Such a suit is filed when an adult needs help to take care of their lives. You'd serve all interested parties including your sister and would eventually have a court hearing (temporary orders are an option while the main hearing is pending). You'd have to show that your mother needs help due to her condition, and that your sister is not acting in the best interest of your mother. The Guardianship order would override any POA.

Furthermore, a POA is invalid if it was signed by someone who is not cognizant and if your mother has had Alzheimer's at the time, then the POA is likely void ("A party lacking the essential requirement of mental capacity may in a proper case obtain the annulment of the contract..." Mahan v. Mahan, 88 So. 2d 545 - Fla: Supreme Court 1956). However, the POA is valid under the rebuttable presumption that your mother is had the capacity to sign it, until/unless proven otherwise by the Court and/or overridden by Guardianship.

Please see...

General Guide:
http://www.flcourts.org/gen_public/family/self_help/guardianship/index.shtml

FAQ:
http://www.inherit-florida.com/guardianship.htm

In-Depth Guide:
http://www.flcourts18.org/PDF/gurardianship_rev1-07.pdf

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 86657
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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