Inheritance and Property Rights/Help?


I currently hold power of attorney to handle financial and medical aspects for my late husband's sister (84) and her husband (91).  Due to their inability to continue to care for themselves (severe hoarding and illness) they are currently living in an assisted living center. My husband was 16 years younger than his sister and they were never close.  But I am their last remaining relative so I felt that I should do what I could to help them.  Very long story with the county and adult protective services involved before I was even made aware of the situation. The couple told the authorities they had no relatives.  I live 4 hours away from the couple.

At the request of the couple I listed their 2 acre property with a realtor and signed the contracts with my name followed by POA.  There are no outstanding debts owed related to the property but the couple does have about $15,000.00 in credit card debt as well as other debts.  I plan to use the money from the sale of property to settle what they owe.  Their sole source of income is their Social Security.

In Texas, when an individual is put on state assistance and place in a care facility their entire SS income goes toward paying the care facility.  The director of the care facility is insisting that she now needs POA for the couple due to SS regulations.  I just received paper work requesting that I relinquish POA for the couple.

My question:  Since I signed the contract with the realtor on the couples behalf what happens if the care facility takes over POA?  Am I still obligated to the realtor if I relinquish POA?

I have used much of my saving trying to get 40 years worth of trash and junk cleaned up off the property and can not really afford an attorney.

Can you assist me or refer me to someone that can?  Please let me know if you need more information.

Thank you for your time,


I would not relinquish the POA.  I need a bit more information however and please send a follow up question or email me at steinway at azbar dot org if that's easier.

1)  is your power of attorney "durable"?  It should either say that or specifically state that it survives any incapacity of the signers (them);

2)  how close is your escrow to closing?

3)  Does your POA authorize you to sign a POA to someone else?  I'd be surprised if it did -- normally this isn't possible.

Tell the "home" you're looking into this to keep them happy -- the ss sounds like it has to go to them and they should be able to arrange that but if they can't do it directly, then you as the POA go ahead and sign any assignment of the s/s to them -- but don't sign anything else just yet  

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Probate estate and trust questions regarding California and Arizona estates.


I've been practicing real estate, probate estate and trust law in California since 1985 and in Arizona since 2005. I do NOT do homework questions. I am unable to advise on questions involving the laws of other states.

Arizona and California State Bar Associations and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Business degree from the University of New Mexico Juris Doctorate from Lincoln Law School of Sacramento, CA

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