Fayetteville, NC asked in Contracts and Elder Law for North Carolina

Q: Signature from incompotent Grandmother

Recently my grandmothers daughter that was POA over all my grandmothers stuff passed away and the power fell to her eldest daughter. Her daughter that was POA had a life insurance policy that the eldest daughter up in New York claims she s taking over but needed a new signature from my grandmother and a witness to access the policy she was paying on. My grandmother has had two strokes and cannot sign for herself, but after her daughter speaking with her lawyers says it s perfectly legal as long as her hand was on the pen and I was able to help guide her. She doesn t really have the mental capacity with her dementia to understand the paperwork that she was signing so I m trying to figure out if I should send the paper back to her daughter with the signature and the witness signature or just tear it up. I m her care-taker and have been for the past 9 years now.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kelli Y. Allen
Kelli Y. Allen
  • Elder Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: If someone has the mental capacity to sign, but cannot physically sign on their own, it is acceptable just to make an "x", have someone assist with holding the pen, or can even direct someone to sign their name. However, if the person's mental state is such that he/she does not understand what he or she would be signing, then none of the above applies. If if someone is completely physically capable of signing, if the mental competence is not there, he or she should not be allowed to sign the document.

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