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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Validity of a Lease Executed Under Power of Attorney

    I have a very complex situation going on right now. So, please bear with me as I try to explain it as clearly as possible.
    First, Iíll be referring to people by initials and there are several involved in this case.
    Now, to explain the relationships and situationsÖ
    Mrs. L is an elderly lady, with 5 children- 4 daughters, A, V, J, & K, and 1 son, W. In 2007, as Mrs. L and her husband reached a frail age, they signed POA over to daughter A. In 2009, the husband died after a long battle with Parkinsonís. The daughters, A and V, were the ones constantly taking care of their parents, especially their father- doing everything for him. Soon after, Mrs. Lís arthritis got a lot worse- disabling, and she started showing signs of Alzheimerís. She acknowledged that it was progressing quickly and that A would be exercising her full POA rights. About a year and a half ago, before she got really bad her and A double checked that everything was legal with a lawyer. Then, she moved out of her home, to live between A and V, and told A to sell the home. Nobody in the family was to get it and she didnít trust the others. A was to take care of everything and make sure the greedy others didnít pull any of their stunts they were well known for (There has been a history of problems with the other 3 siblings- taking things from the home, while the dad was dying, to sell, verbal fights/ screaming matches and physical altercations with the others for no reason, not helping take care of the parents, etc). Right around Christmas time, Mrs. L took a turn for the worse, was hospitalized for awhile, and then her doctor, signed papers saying her mind was then completely incompetent.
    The property consisted of 2.5 acres, a large home, 2 storage buildings, and 2 car garage with apartment above. While being rented the tenants would have the land, house, 1 storage building, and garage. K could continue living in the apartment, rent free, as she had for the past 6 years, while A was the acting owner. When someone bought the property- then the apartment was theirs. A lives right beside the property, on roughly an acre that her father gave her about 20 years ago.
    Anyways, the house was for sell, or lease-to-own for about 9 months, with no promising leads. This is where I come in. I have been a lifelong, very close, family friend to Aís kids, as were A, her husband, and my parents. My parents have lived right beside A for about 15 years. I mostly grew up here. My husband I decided in the beginning of April that we wanted to rent-to-own the place, because we wanted to move back to our hometown, being beside A and my parents would be perfect, and I was going to be starting a new job about 5 minutes away from there in May. We talked to A, toured the place, she (trying to be a nice person and include the siblings in on everything even though she didnít have to) talked to them about it, and we were set to move in, in May. My husband and I own the house we currently live in, about an hour away. We planned on renting it out as soon as we were sure we had a place to move into. Everything was fine. So we signed a lease with someone to move into our house the beginning of June (it just happened that they couldnít take it until then). We had set up an agreement with A to move in a couple days early, so we could do everything over the weekend, instead of the 1st of the month, in the middle of the week. The Sunday before, we met with her again to actually sign the lease (the only dates on the lease is the 27th- the date we planned on actually moving in).
    Mrs. L had been visiting W, out of state for the weekend. K went to get her and asked to keep her at her house for the rest of the week. A and V thought she was just wanting to visit (nothing had raised red flags, since everyone had been getting along lately).
    But, then Wednesday A called to tell me that as of right then everything was fine for us to move in butÖ. K and J had taken Mrs. L to the bank and tried to get her money out (which the account was listed as V then Mrs L), so the bank froze the account and notified A and V of what was going on. Then A didnít know where her mother was because K wasnít at her apartment. She called the cops, who finally found them all at Jís house. Thursday morning A found a note of the door of the house saying that the property was no possession of the new POAs, K and J, not the former POA, A and they had changed the locks so she or us couldnít get in. She then found out that they had actually taken Mrs. L, Wednesday, to a doctor who said she was competent, took her to a lawyer to sign over POA to them, and then had went to the bank to do such.
    All of this then froze the property and A told us her lawyer said we shouldnít move in now and would have to wait until they all went to court to have a judge rule if Mrs L is competent or not, who really has POA, and unfreeze everything.
    A was POA when we signed the lease, but we put the date of us moving on it (which they changed POA to them before our move in date). But, everyone is saying that we have to wait to move until the go to court for 1. And 2. even if we could move in if K and J approved, I know they wouldnít- plus I donít trust them at all.
    They took our home away from us that we had already signed a lease to. Weíre in the middle of waiting to see what the court says and hoping A gets everything proven in her favor. If she does, we can move in as soon as everything is straightened out, but who knows how long that will take. If she donít win, then weíre just completely out and have to find a new place.
    I had already packed everything in our house, rented a U-Haul, called and had the utilities turned on at the house in our name, to be turned off at our current house, changed our address with the PO, etc. I had to go back and change all of that after this happened.
    We now are living in our current house, with everything packed. I will have to start driving an hour one way next week for work. And no matter what happens we have to be out by June 1st, because Iím not going back on my word with our tenants.
    Do you have any advice on how to help A and V win this court battle over who is really POA, to get their mother back into their care where she is safe and well taken care of, and to get the point across to the others to quit these games?
    Do my husband and I have any rights in this; anything that we can do legally? I know the first priority for everyone right now is Mrs. Lís well being and to keep all of her money and belongings out of the hands of greedy people and back to the rightful owners. But, this also puts us in a terrible position of not only potentially not having a place to live but completely tearing our hopes of having that particular place that we were set on staying in for a long, long time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Poa, Undue Influence, Reversed House Lease

    Your emotional attachments are irrelevant. State law will dictate whether your lease is valid since A entered into it in good faith as POA. The potential exists you could be taken to court for not fulfilling the lease.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Poa, Undue Influence, Reversed House Lease

    There is nothing that you can do other than provide support for your friend, its her mess to clear up. I would say that the case looks very much in her favor. Judges tend to frown on siblings attempting to bypass a standing POA and then trying to obtain money or other property immediately afterward.

    To sum up for everyone who doesn't want to read the entire story:

    - Elderly mother/father assigned POA to daughter A.
    - Father passed, mother grew ill and was deemed mentally incompetent by doctor.
    - Daughter A now has full POA.
    - Daughter A attempts to rent-to-own the home to OP.
    - Siblings take mother to doctor who declares her competent.
    - Siblings immediately take mother to bank and attempt to withdrawl funds.
    - Bank recognizes the conflict and freezes accounts.
    - Home sale is frozen due to conflict.
    - OP intended to move in June 1 and rented her own home out already. Now potentially has no place to live.

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