Legal Question in Elder Law in Arizona

My brother, who has had the POA (medical/financial) for our father, who has advanced Alzheimers, has emptied his estate bank accounts which were used to fund our father's care (nursing home and supplies). There is no money left to leave him in the home where he has been. He does receive some SS and pension funds monthly. Is it in my/my father's best interest to have my brother sign the POA (both medical and financial) over to me to take responsibility for the incoming SS and pension funds or leave it as my brothers responsibility? Dad will now have to move from his care home and will likely be given over to state care in Arizona with minimal monthly income. What are the advantages of either option?

Asked on 9/18/12, 9:37 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Donald Scher Donald T. Scher & Associates, P.C.

Your brother is subject to civil as well as criminal penalties under AZ law, if he has taken your father's money and spent it or put it in his own account for his own use. You should file a complaint with the local police where your father is living and a complaint with Adult Protective Services, as well. If indeed your father has less than $1,700 in income, he will probably qualify for ALTCCCS, the AZ department that takes care of the indigent. You should talk with the care home and see if they will allow your father to stay where he is and accept whatever ALTCCCS will pay for his care. If they won't agree, then ALTCCCS will determine where he goes to live.

Your brother cannot sign over the POA to you. If you are named as a successor agent in the POA document, then with your brother's resignation, you could have authority as your father's Successor Agent, under his POA.

Take action at once, do not hesitate to act and protect your father's interests.

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Answered on 9/18/12, 2:57 pm

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