How can I assume POA status of my mother away from her irresponsible and disreputable husband?

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How can I assume POA status of my mother away from her irresponsible and disreputable husband?

Step-father for 15 years. She is 67; he is  50years. My mother’s health is concerning and she has no insurance. I need to be prepared to make the necessary funeral arrangements and set-up payments. Her husband (my stepfather) told me he made her arrangements three yrs ago, but upon contacting the funeral home, I was informed arrangements were solely made for him and not 1 payment has been made. Since he found out I was investigating their plans, he arranged that the funeral home could only discuss the situation with him. He hasn’t worked for over 10 years and has no income. I want to be assured Mom has a proper burial.

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Estate Planning, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I doubt very much whether or not you can assume this power or authority.

1) Even if your mother is ill, as long as  she has her mental facilities, no one--not even her husband--can make decisions for her. She'd have to be judged to be legally incompetent before someone can make decisions and exercise authority on her behalf.

2) Even if you mother were incompetent, her spouse would be the one to exercise the power, unless

a) you show that he, too is incompetent; or

b) you show that he is actively harming her health or defrauding her; merely not acting as responsibly as you believe he should is not grounds for taking away one spouse's right to make decisions for an incompetent spouse.

In short, it would have to be an extraordinary chain of events to get you the authority you like.

You can certainly try to facilitate things for your mother; e.g. nothing says you can't offer to buy the plot and make the payments, arrangements for them, and if they let you do that, do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption