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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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I have power of attorney for my dad. He quit paying his alimony

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I have power of attorney for my dad. He quit paying his alimony over a year ago because his doctors said he needed assisted living. We have been going back and forth in court since last year. My dads ex wife wants to add me as a party to the lawsuit. Can she do this and hold me personally responsible?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - A power of attorney does not make you personally liable for the debts of the grantor. I have no idea on what basis she would claim that you somehow owe the alimony if all you have done is act as his POA. You cannot represent him in court but you are permitted to represent your self if you choose. If your Dad needs assisted living he cannot be denied medical care and it is not you who is keeping money from his ex therefore there is nothing personal that you have done that would make you responsible for the debts of your father. Frankly this seems like an idle threat with no basis in law or fact. If you have more information as to the basis of her claim please let me know.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
But she already Did file with the courts to add me. the judge said he was giving me and my attorney time to respond. Her attorney stated I should be a party because I have been paying his bills and I'm the one that quit paying the alimony. I am thinking about withdrawing from POA but the attorney won't represent my Dad unless I get a doctors note saying he is capable enough to represent himself.
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 5 years ago.
OK - I see no reason to resign as the POA at this point since that will not change what has already occurred. As the POA you have a fiduciary duty to the grantor, your father. I can't imagine that anyone can argue that it would be more in your father's best interest to pay alimony rather than his health care and your defense is that you had to pay for his care. The only mistake that I can see is that no one filed a motion to suspend the alimony due to the health care considerations. A POA is not a legal guardian so you are not in total control over his entire life and all you do is pay the bills from whatever money he has. I simply do not see that you are personally liable for his debts. If you had paid the alimony rather than the medical bills the doctors or hospitals or care facilities could not sue you personally so I see no reason that his ex can be successful. Of course I cannot predict outcomes of court cases so you definitely need to defend yourself. Withdrawing as POA will not solve the problem of this case.

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