Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in North Carolina

How to view Power of Attorney over a family member

My grandmother was put in an assisted living home and when we questioned a family member of how she was put their. She refused to answer any questions.She simply stated that she had Power of Attorney and if anyone tried to take my grandmother back home she would have legal action taken against us.When asked what happened to my grandmothers home and land we were told that it was signed over to the home.The home says they didn't take it that Medicad would have requested that she sell down to only 2,000 in total assests.How can we see if their truly is Power of Attorney and what my grandmothers rights are?She keeps asking if her home has been sold and why cant she go back home?Is their a way to view Power of Attorney.Thank you for your help.

Asked on 7/15/04, 9:43 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tate Davis Davis Elder & Disability Law Services
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Re: How to view Power of Attorney over a family member

The Power of Attorney should be registered/recorded and on public file in the Office of the Register of Deeds in the County where your grandmother lived. I will note a couple of things about the facts you presented here. First, the Assisted Living Facility (ALF) must have had a physician certify that grandmother needed ALF care in order to admit her. Second, I agree that most ALF's would NOT have taken an exchange of land for care. Therefore, the property is probably exempt for Medicaid purposes or was either sold or given away. If it was given away, then a lengthy penalty period probably would have resulted. Thus, it appears from your facts that the property was more likely either sold or made exempt in some fashion (such as your grandmother's written declaration that she intends to return to the home).

My advice would be to research at the local Register of Deeds office first and see what kind of a Power of Attorney you find. Next, you may want to have an attorney experienced in elder law matters review the POA and see if some breach of fiduciary duty has in fact taken place.

Good luck with your situation.

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7/15/04, 9:51 am

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