Making financial decisions when a parent requires long-term care in a nursing home must always be done carefully. If selling their house becomes a consideration, the potential involvement of a nursing home or government agency like Medi-Cal adds layers of complexity. The following are some general guidelines to be aware of when selling property under Power of Attorney (POA). For personalized guidance, consulting with a qualified Torrance elder lawyer is vital.

Understanding Power of Attorney

A POA is a legal document where your parent (the principal) designates you (the agent) to handle their affairs. Its power depends on two main types:

  • General POA: Grants broad decision-making abilities, often with limits.
  • Durable POA: Remains in effect even if the principal becomes incapacitated. Selling real estate typically requires this type.

Even with a durable POA, your authority to sell property rests on it being expressly stated within the document’s language. However, other factors influencing a sale include:

  • Your Parent’s Mental Capacity: If your parent can no longer handle their affairs, selling a home likely sits with your fiduciary duty to act in their best interests.
  • Medi-Cal Considerations: Medi-Cal can offset nursing home costs, but asset disposition rules can be strict, depending on the state where your parent resides. This is where the expertise of an elder law attorney is invaluable.

Fulfilling Your Fiduciary Duty

When acting as an agent under POA, you’re legally bound to uphold your parent’s best interests, financially and emotionally. This means getting a fair market appraisal of the home, managing the sale responsibly, and transparently documenting all aspects of the process.

The Essential Role of an Torrance Elder Lawyer

Every family’s situation is unique. A knowledgeable Torrance elder lawyer ensures you thoroughly understand the specific powers granted by the POA. An attorney provides crucial guidance about:

  • Navigating the sale within your authority and responsibility as an agent.
  • Exploring alternatives and understanding relevant tax considerations.
  • Addressing complex Medi-Cal qualification rules if applicable.

Answers and Support Throughout the Process

Schedule a consultation with our firm. Our experienced Torrance elder lawyers understand the legal and emotional nuances you’re facing. We provide clarity, compassionate counsel, and the resources to ensure the best possible outcome for your loved one. To schedule an appointment at our law firm, simply call 310-782-6322 and ask to schedule a meeting with the mention of this blog post.