Q: The car has been parked in front of his condo (which we will eventually sell) for months. We would like to drive the car and keep it at our house. Do I need to transfer title, or can I just put the car on my own car insurance? I am his financial power of attorney, and do not want to do anything unethical. (Hermine, PA)
A: There is a larger picture here that any lawyer would need to know before giving you a definitive answer on what seems like such a minor thing. We would need to know if your father is incompetent. If so, the transfer would need to be through the POA. Very generally, if your father has any foreseeable need to apply for Medicaid in the next five years, a transfer of this vehicle out of his name could subject him to a Medicaid penalty to the extent of the value of the transfer. If Medicaid is not an issue more information would be needed on who the potential heirs of his estate are. If these heirs would ultimately object to transferring the car into your name via the POA (if the POA authorizes such transfers or gifts), as a gift, then it may be an issue. Even using the car which will ultimately be estate property, could be objected to. If you are confident you have no potential Medicaid issues, and you are the only heir, there is less risk here, but I would still consult with a VA attorney.
Q: My father can’t testify at his own elder abuse PFA hearing due to mental incapacity, I have POA, will it be denied? My father has been physically abused and mentally abused by my younger brother. Recently, my brother is financially exploiting him too. My father is mentally incapacitated due to severe depression, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and physical illness and he can’t testify on his own behalf. I want to file for a PFA since I have a durable power of attorney. And since I know about all the abuse and financial exploitation, I am able to testify to get the restraining order. Do you think the restraining order will be denied at the hearing in court?
A: You cannot step into his shoes and testify him because you are his Agent on a POA. however, I think you can still prevail at the Protection From Abuse Hearing if you or someone else can give first hand testimony of the abuse-actually witnessing the abuse. I would suggest that you bring father to court so the judge can see his condition and bring a copy of the POA to show that you are the agent. I would strongly suggest having a lawyer represent him at the hearing.
Q: My aunt has power of attorney for my grandmother. She is currently in a nursing home that she doesn’t want to be in. My other aunt said that she is willing to have her live at her home being as though none of my other aunts want her at their home. My aunt who is POA said no because my who wants my grandmother is Muslim and she doesn’t think its right. Is there anything my aunt can do to get her mother to live with her?
A: Outside of denouncing her Muslim faith to satisfy the other aunt, the option would be to hire an attorney and file to have either you or the Muslim aunt as guardian. If the non-Muslim aunt is not acting in the best interests of grandmother and it is medically possible for grandmother to live outside a nursing setting, then you may have a case. This option should be reviewed carefully with an attorney first.