Can I sell parents house with a POA if my sister is on the deed?

Q: Seeking POA & Health directive for elderly parents to sell home for medical care. However, the equity in the house is shared by my sister. It is a Trust deed shared by Parents and sibling -all 3 live together. Both parents are elderly and one is caregiver of the other who is seriously disabled. Both need medical attention so I want to intervene to force medical care. I want POA to sell house to counter expenses- medical and future assisted living cost. However, co-owner sibling of house does not want to sell house and wants house in retirement. Legally, once I get POA then I have control of parents finance and will sell home for the equity to pay for parent’s assisted living expenses and medical care. No money remains for-co-owner sibling, but she can utilize her portion of equity to pay for elderly parent’s medical expenses too.

A:  Having the sister on the deed with the parents may be a problem for you as an agent on a power of attorney trying to sell this house. You need to have an estate planning or elder law lawyer look at the deed. If your sibling holds title as joint tenant or as a tenant in common, you just cannot remove her from the deed. What is happening here is why people should seek competent legal advice before putting a child on the deed to their home. You may also have some potential Medicaid issues if you believe either parent may need to apply for nursing care assistance in the future. You may be able to shelter the house and other assets and have the parents remain eligible for Medicaid, if you follow the advice of a good elder law lawyer. The fact that one spouse may remain in the home when the other is hospitalized and there is a child living in the home, may benefit your parents with Medicaid eligibility. This is a complicated situation and you need to consult with a lawyer.


If you feel like this issue relates to you, or a problem that you are experiencing, please contact me so that we can discuss your situation.