Do I have a right to know who the POA successor is?

Q: My oldest sister is POA for my mom for about 3 years now. She has made some awful business decisions and wasting money on things that aren’t needed. She refuses to do much needed repairs for mom’s home that mom still lives in and I am mom’s primary caregiver as I live here with her. And sister POA refuses to let any of her 4 siblings know anything about mom’s finances. She refuses to let any of us know who her successor is in the event she can no longer carry out the POA duties. She also has major health issues. She just says, “it’s none of you”. This is completely against my mom’s wishes. She acts as if we have no right to know anything about anything. Do we have the right to know? She has become very suspicious. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A:  I can think of no law that requires your mother’s agent on a power of attorney to inform anyone of the contents of the document. Yes, it would be nice if she would, but she is not violating a law for not doing so. If your mother is competent, she can revoke the power of attorney given to your sister. If mother is not competent or is under duress or undue influence from your sister, the only way of having sister removed as Agent on the power of attorney is by seeking to be your mother’s guardian. This will require a lawyer. You can also hire a lawyer to make a written request for a copy of the POA document. If your sister refuses to produce it, the attorney can advise you on whether to petition the court to order production of the POA. If your mother is competent and trustful of you, I do not understand why she doesn’t answer your question. Your best bet would be to consult with a lawyer with whom you can share all the facts.

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