Do I have power of attorney over my mother or does my father because he is married to her? 12 Answers as of January 13, 2013

I have a medical Power of Attorney over my natural mother that she signed. Her husband (my natural father) claims that because they are married, he has defacto medical POA over her, and therefore can over rule my decisions about her health. Is that correct?

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Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You have the power of attorney unless she revokes it.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/13/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
No. the written power of attorney controls.
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 1/10/2013
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
Your father does not have Power of Attorney just because he is married to your mother. Your mother, alone, decides who she wants to represent her in dealing of a financial matter.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 1/10/2013
Peters Law, PLLC
Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
Probably not. Make sure that yours is a durable power of attorney so that is effective if your mother is unable to make decisions.
Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 1/10/2013
Victor Varga | Victor Varga
No, you have the POA. There is no such thing as a defacto medical POA. If she wanted/wants him to take on that role.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 1/10/2013
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
    Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
    No, that's not correct. A word about terminology: "Power of Attorney" refers to a formal principal/agent relationship made by written authorization. A "Health Care Proxy" is a written document by which one person authorizes another to make medical decisions on his/her behalf, in the event that the authorizing person is unable to make the decision. These authorizations are made in writing to avoid the very situation you are describing here: your authority is in writing, his is not, so yours controls.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    This is a personal injury forum, and yours is a probate question. However, based on my limited knowledge of probate law, I believe that his position of spouse gives him the right to make decisions in the absence of a medical power of attorney. However, if a proper medical power of attorney has been executed, then the person who has the power of attorney has the right to make decisions within the powers granted in the POA. Otherwise, issuing a medical POA would be pointless and of no use.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal
    Law Offices of Sandeep G. Agarwal | Sandeep G. Agarwal
    It depends on the state that you are in, but in most instances, the person with the health care directive or medical POA, is the one with the authority. You can also take it to the doctors and ask them whose decision would that take into account over the other.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Richard B. Jacobson & Associates, LLC | Richard B. Jacobson
    It likely depends on the kind of decision to be made. Bu in general I think you have the power to make decisions provided for in the POA document at least if your parents are not married to each other. If they bare, then it's a bit up in the air.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    If you have a proper health care proxy that name you with the right to make health decisions then you may proceed and not your father.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 1/10/2013
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
    Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
    If you have a signed POA from your Mother that has not been revoked, then you are her power of attorney if any conditions within the document are met regarding when the powers are to start. Some powers of attorney take place immediately, upon signature. Others take place only if the person becomes incapacitated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/10/2013
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