Can I be added to a POA without my consent?

Q: My sister, brother and his wife have POA over our mother. For 12 years, they would not let me see her. Now they expect me to take care of her so they can travel. They listed me as first contact without my consent or signature on her medical, dental etc. Is this legal? My sister put herself last because she plans on traveling 3 weeks out of the month. Now that our mom is 95 and needs more help. Then, I get a phone call from my brother stating that I am the first contact and all her appointments are written down along with her medications. I am going through extensive PT right now and they are all retired and my husband and I are not healthy. If they are going to do this to me can I charge them for what a 24-hour caregiver makes? (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: Under PA law, you would have to sign the “Acknowledgement” portion of the Power of Attorney document to be legally bound to serve. It is not enough just to name you as an Agent. I think if it becomes a problem, you should ask your siblings for a copy and review it with a lawyer. Also, even if you were an Agent on the POA, under PA law, you can resign being an Agent by providing written notice to all parties involved. As for earning a fee, this needs to be specified in the POA document.

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