Legal Question in Legal Ethics in Illinois

My wifes mother is power of attorney to a member in the family and by the state she is declared as mentally ill. My wife is secondary power of attorney for this family member and does everything she can to make sure he is taken care of. The primary power of attorney does nothing and when we try to get information for legal for nursing home abuse, trying to put a savings account together for him, trying to get him to a different nursing home that is better for him, the main power of attorney just ignores and does absolutely nothing about it. Since she is mentally ill and declared by state and receiving disability for it, is there some way we can make my wife primary power of attorney because of this so we can actually take care of this family member?

Asked on 9/27/13, 7:30 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

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If you have documentation that shows that the primary agent is mentally disabled, that should be enough evidence to allow the successor agent under the Power of Attorney to act. This information should be presented with the POA document when it is used.

Another option would be to have your wife's mother sign a waiver (this might be impossible if she is truly mentally disabled, however), declining to act as agent under the POA.

Finally, if your family member is competent enough to create a new Power of Attorney, that would be the best option.

Good luck to you.

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Answered on 10/08/13, 9:36 am

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