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What can I do to Help My Mother

Posted on: 09th Dec, 2006 10:22 am
First of all my Mother in Louisiana. My Stepfather deserted her over 4 years ago. He signed over a Quick Claim Deed to my sister. A mortgage was taken out on the house just prior to his leaving and he has never paid a dime towards it and has never filed for a devorce. My mother has been paying the mortgage and was planning on devorce ASAP. Now my sister is trying to have my mother interdicted since her attempts to have my mother sign over her house have failed. I have power of attorney over my mother and don\'t know what to do about all this. The power of attorney reads as follows.
I hereby revoke any and all general powers of attorney that previously have been signed by me.

My agent shall have full power and authority to act on my behalf. This power and authority shall authorize my Agent to manage and conduct all of my affairs and to exercise all of my legal rights and powers, including all rights and powers that I may acquire in the future. My Agent’s powers shall include, but not limited to, the power to:

1. Open, maintain, make changes to, or close bank accounts (including, but not limited to, checking accounts, savings accounts, and certificates of deposit), brokerage accounts, and other similar accounts with fi9nancial institutions.
a. Conduct any business with any banking or financial institution with respect to any of my accounts, including, but not limited to, making deposits and withdrawals, obtaining bank statements, passbooks, drafts, money orders, warrants, and certificates or vouchers payable to me by any person, firm corporation or political entity.
b. Perform any act necessary to deposit, negotiate, sell or transfer any note, security or draft of the United States of America, including U.S. Treasury Securities.
c. Have access to any safe deposit box that I might own, including its contents.

2. Sell, exchange, buy, invest, or reinvest any assets or property owned by me. Such assets or property may include income producing or non-income producing assets and property.

3. Purchase and/or maintain insurance, including life insurance upon my life or the life of any other appropriate person.

4. Take any and all legal steps necessary to collect any amount or debt owed to me, or to settle any claim, whether made against me or asserted on my behalf against any other person or entity.

5. Enter into binding contracts on my behalf.

6. Maintain and/or operate any business that I may own.

7. Employ professional and business assistance as may be appropriate, including attorneys, accountants, and real estate agents.

8. Sell, convey, lease, mortgage, manage, insure, improve, repair, or perform any other act with respect to any of my property (now owned or later acquired) including, but not limited to, real estate and real estate rights (including the right to remove tenants and to recover possession).

This includes the right to sell or encumber any homestead that I now own or may own in the future.
9. Prepare, sign, and file documents with any governmental body or agency,
including, but not limited to, authorization to:
a. Prepare, sign and file documents with federal, state, local, and other
governmental bodies.
b. Obtain information or documents from any government or its agencies, and
negotiate, compromise, or settle any matter with such government or agency.
10. Make gifts from my assets to members of my family and to themselves
(“Agents”) or charitable organizations with whom I have an established
pattern of giving.
11. Transfer any of my assets to the trustee of any revocable trust created by me,
if such trust is in existence at the time of such transfer.
12. Disclaim any interest which might otherwise be transferred or distributed to
me from any other person, estate, trust, or other entity, as may be appropriate.
Any power or authority granted to my Agent under this document shall be limited to the extent necessary to prevent this Power of Attorney from causing: (i) my income to be taxable to my Agent, (ii) my assets to be subject to a general power of appointment by my Agent, and (iii) my Agent to have any incidents of ownership with respect to any life insurance policies that I may own on the life of my Agent.

My Agent shall not be liable for any loss that results from a judgment error that was made in good faith.

My Agent shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for any services provided as my Agent.

My Agent shall be entitled to reimbursement of all reasonable expenses incurred in connection with this Power of Attorney.

This Power of Attorney shall become effective immediately and shall not be affected by my disability, incapatation, or lack of mental competence, except as may be provided otherwise by an applicable state statute. This is a Durable Power of Attorney. This Power of Attorney shall continue effective until my death. This Power of Attorney may be revoked by me at any time by providing written notice to my Agent, with certified proof of receipt by Agent, of such revocation.

From what I would like to be clear about from your post is that whether stepfather was also owner of the house in some part or was it solely in his name.

As you have mentioned that he had quit claimed to your sister, it means that he must have had a part ownership in the house. So that way your sister is already co-owner of the house with your mother.

On the other hand if your stepfather did not have any rights over the house and still made out a quit claim deed to transfer the house over to her then it is not valid and your mother is the sole owner of the house.

In this situation as you have the power of attorney to make decisions on your mother's part; your sister can not force her to give the house to her.

The powers you have:
"2. Sell, exchange, buy, invest, or reinvest any assets or property owned by me. Such assets or property may include income producing or non-income producing assets and property."and
" 5. Enter into binding contracts on my behalf."
Would be sufficient for you to challenge any claim put up by your sister.
Posted on: 09th Dec, 2006 10:53 am
I would like to add that you have a "Durable Power of Attorney" which enables you to act on your mother's behalf even if your sister claims that she is not mentally competent to take decision right now and the house ownership be decided by the court.

The power of attorney you have will be effective until it is revoked by your mother or would be revoked only after her death.

Now you will have to decide whether it will be right for you have the house transferred in your sister's name or not.

As your mother was not in favor of giving the house to your sister, you should also not agree to any such title transfer.
Posted on: 09th Dec, 2006 11:04 am
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