Mount Joy, PA asked in Elder Law and Estate Planning for Pennsylvania

Q: My sister has power of attorney regarding our mother's finances and has had herself added to mom's checking account.

Mom has assumed that she would do as asked and divide all money equally. It seems that this is not her intention. Mom has no will and has dementia. FYI, my mother's own money is used to pay her bills and expenses that come with her hospice care. My sister does put in more time because she doesn't work anymore and I have to continue to work. Between mom's checking accounts one which as of 6 months ago had over $11,000 and a small investment account with $20,000 principle which I was told had all 3 of our names as beneficiaries. Because she has power of attorney does she have the right to decide who gets what? What can I do if she just cleans out the checking accounts? She only just discovered that I knew that there were 2, but I didn't let her know that I knew about the balance amount. Her reaction gives me pause. She has also made mention of making changes to the investment account. Can she do that legally?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Wyomissing, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Talk to an elderlaw attorney.

Dawn Padanyi
Dawn Padanyi
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Doylestown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: The answer is that she may be able to make these decisions as your Mother's agent under a Power of Attorney. You should speak with a local elder law attorney or estate planning attorney where your mother resides.

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