Gwynn Oak, MD asked in Elder Law for Maryland

Q: I am POA, father has dementia, in asst living, sadly medicare and health insurance does not cover much.

I have lived in his home for past 13 yrs. My sister lives in his other home, which he purchased for her and has lived there 20 + yrs. When his money runs out will we have to sell the homes, can I put deed in my name?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Cedulie Renee Laumann
Cedulie Renee Laumann
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crownsville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Usually an attorney in fact under a POA cannot transfer assets to themselves. Nor can the agent gift property to other family members unless the authority is expressly given in the power of attorney and is consistent with the principal's pattern of giving and best interests.

In some cases, it may be possible for an agent to sell the principal's assets to other family members at fair market value (perhaps adjusting for commissions savings), but great caution is urged in any such transactions. The fiduciary must always act in the principal's best interest and that typically means maximizing the cash from any sale so that the principal's assets can be used for their care.

While not legal advice (and it would be a good idea to get legal advice before undertaking any transactions) I hope that this general information helps.

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