Q: Can Power of Attorney who is also named on the principal's bank account withdraw funds while principal is in hospice?
I am my father's power of attorney, healthcare representative, and conservator of his estate. He has decided to withdraw life support measures and will go into hospice with a life expectancy of about a week. He had to spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid and could not provide much for his grandchildren's college fund although he was adamant about wanting to leave them something. He only has a few hundred dollars in his bank account, but I'm curious if I can withdraw those funds and deposit them into college funds for his grandchildren while he is still alive. This idea was brought to his attention and he agreed that he would like to do this, but I'm not sure if it is permissible. I have been supporting his financial affairs since being admitted to a nursing facility and am currently named on his bank account.
A: In most states, the ability of an agent under a power of attorney to make gifts on behalf of the principal is a "hot power", meaning it is not covered by general language in a POA. It must be specifically stated. Look for specific authority in the POA to make gifts and see if there are any limitations to that power.
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