Hendersonville, NC asked in Elder Law for North Carolina

Q: My mother in law has dementia.my husband has her poa can she choose to move herself from the nursing home to another 1?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Catherine E Bruce
Catherine E Bruce
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Making a Power of Attorney gives an Agent the ability to take certain actions, in addition to the Principal (a power of attorney does not affect an individual's ability to make his or her own decisions). However, it sounds like your mother in law may not be capable of making her own decisions anymore because of her dementia. If her dementia is so severe that she is now incompetent and is not making good decisions for herself, someone may need to obtain a guardianship over her. I would recommend that your family tries every other avenue before pursuing a guardianship, if possible. A guardianship is expensive, time-consuming, and embarrassing/disempowering for the ward. If you can work with your mother-in-law to help her come to better decisions in an informal way, that would be preferable for everyone than going through the hassle of getting a guardianship over her.

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