How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask originallawyer Your Own Question
originallawyer
originallawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 799
Experience:  7+ years of experience in divorce, custody battles and mediation.
74576488
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
originallawyer is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 85 year old mother signed a questionable POA over to a

Customer Question

My 85 year old mother signed a questionable POA over to a sibling (1) in Texas last June. The POA has been dissolved but a temporary court order has assigned temporary guardianship of my mother to two other siblings (2 is guardian of estate and 3 is guardian of person). Mom has never been declared incapacitated by a judge or by a court decision, but by a doctor she had only seen once. Texas law and the judge allowed this to stand that Mom is incapacitated.
The temporary order, forced by sibling (1) and (2) states that neither party can request for a full accounting or question any acts that sibling (1) performed while she held the POA. There is substantial proof that the POA had been abused financially and also abused by denying Mom her rights to choose (a totally different issue). The court will not allow any party who signed the temporary order, or Mom, to file for a full accounting. This is due to a clause inserted into the order, by the attorney hired by sibling (1) to protect sibling (1) from her questionable actions as agent for the POA. Mom has an ad litem attorney assigned to her who will not file this for her.
Under the Texas Estates Code 751.104, a full accounting can be requested. How do I, as sibling (4), and not a party to signing the temporary order, file that request in a Texas court? If only the principal or an agent can request it, how are the rights of an elderly person protected? I do not want to, as I cannot afford to, hire an attorney to submit this to the court. What court agency can I go to that will help me file this (send me paperwork, etc) without legal representation?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  originallawyer replied 1 year ago.

Hello:

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation!

Under TEC 751.104, as you've read, only the principal can request an accounting, so you are are not able to do so. This is different than the rules for requesting an accounting of a deceased person's estate, in which any interested party can request an accounting. If your mother is not incapacitated, she would have to be the one to contest the declaration of incapacitation. I am not entirely sure why the Judge allowed the clause to stand because that's significantly against your mother's interests.

At this point, your option would be to contest sibling 2's ability to be your mother's guardian of the estate if you can show that S2 colluded with S1 in covering up S1's bad actions as POA.

Now, the bad news is that this is not an area that lawyers will do pro bono work in most of the time, so you are not likely going to find an attorney who will help you with this for free. Also, in Texas there are not court agencies that will help you with this, in fact all court staff are forbidden from giving you any legal advice as that would be practicing law without a license.

You would need to hire an attorney to help you file a counter petition to have your siblings removed. You could attempt to do this on your own, and your local courthouse may have a law library that would have the materials you need, but elder law is a complicated area to practice in so your results trying to do this pro se can't be guaranteed.

If your mother's health is being neglected, you can ask Adult Protective Services to check in on her and make sure that she's being cared for. If they find any reason for concern, they may also get involved in her case legally.

Related Family Law Questions