Randolph, ME asked in Estate Planning for Maine

Q: If my sister is Durable Power of Attorney can she change my parents living will?

My mother passed away 3 years ago but my father is still living with Alzheimer's disease. She recently put him in an "Assisted living home" he doesnt even remember he owns a gorgeous Condo on the ocean and my sister says they had no investments! I know they did.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Daniel J. Eccher
Daniel J. Eccher
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Winthrop, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: It sounds like you may be concerned that your sister may be taking advantage of your father’s assets. Your first concern should be about your father’s well-being. You could make a report to Adult Protective Services at 1-800-624-8404, but they only get involved in the most serious cases. You could also call Legal Services for the Elderly at 1-800-750-5353.

You may also want to contact a private attorney with experience in elder law and probate court practice. A private attorney could file a law suit in probate court holding your sister liable for any violations of her fiduciary duties to your father. At the very least, the court would be likely to order her to file an "account" - that is, a report on what she did with your father's assets.

Now to your first question about whether she could change his living will: No; typically, a Power of Attorney would not give the agent (your sister) the authority to change a “living will” (technically called an “advanced health care directive” under Maine law).

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