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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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My mother is showing signs of dementia and while she has a

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My mother is showing signs of dementia and while she has a living will, it does not seem to address the problem of my having the ability to make decisions regarding her declining mental health. I just found out that there is a woman visiting her weekly who apparently is from social services adult protection services that I was originally told was sent by my mom's physician to ensure she was taking her meds - this now appears not to be the case. My mother has not as yet been diagnosed with dementia or alzheimers' disease but it is a matter of time. Do you suggest I encourage her to get durable power of atty? I live in NJ, My mom lives in Virginia. I would think that she would have to sign prior to be officially diagnosed and the clock is ticking...
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ely replied 5 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. You may actually 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 if any, and have a hearing eventually (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. A Guardianship by the Court gives you a lot more power than a simple POA. The POA may also be void, arguably, if signed while your mother has a condition, since any contract (and a POA is a contract) signed wherein the party possibly lacks capacity to understand is void. Drewry v. Drewry, 383 SE 2d 12 - Va: Court of Appeals 1989. The rebuttable presumption of course is that the POA would be valid, but a Guardianship is more stable and inclusive.

However, it is not a bad idea to at least have a Durable Power of Attorney and I am including a blank template for you below:
(Focuses on medical needs)

General POAs:

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