There are situations in which elderly individuals tender powers of attorney to individuals who are not family members. If this occurred in your own family and you have concerns about who is designated as your parents' agents in their powers of attorney, there is a legal remedy available to you. The laws in all states provide you a procedure to utilise in order to dispute and seek to have set aside a power of attorney for an aged parent.
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Things you need
- Copy of power of attorney
- Petition to contest power of attorney
Determine the proper court in which to file a petition to contest a power of attorney. The options include the probate court or the family court, depending on the law of the jurisdiction in which the power of attorney is in force. Identify which of these courts is the appropriate forum either by contacting the clerk of the court or reviewing state law. State law is available through the legislature's (or general assembly's) website.
Obtain a form or sample petition to contest power of attorney from the clerk of the court. Court clerks typically maintain forms and samples relating to documents commonly used in proceedings before that court.
Complete or draft a petition to contest power of attorney. In the petition, specifically set forth the reasons why you believe the power of attorney for an aged parent should be terminated or set aside.
List the name of your parent and the individual named in the power of attorney to act on behalf of your parent.
Attach a copy of the power of attorney document to the petition and file it with the clerk of the court.
Request the clerk of the court to serve a copy of the petition on your parent as well as on the individual designated as the agent in the power of attorney.
Obtain a hearing date and time from the clerk of the court for your petition to contest power of attorney.
Notify the other parties (your parent and the agent named in the power of attorney) of the hearing date and time.
Appear at the hearing and present your argument and evidence regarding your desire to terminate the power of attorney. Evidence includes any documents that support your position as well as testimony from witnesses.
Tips and warnings
- Electing to dispute a power of attorney can be a complicated and challenging task. Therefore, if you intend to contest a power of attorney seriously consider retaining an attorney to represent your interests. Although these organisations cannot make specific recommendations to you, both the state and local bar association maintain directories of attorneys in different practice areas. Contact information for these groups is available from the American Bar Association.
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