What can I do if I think my mentally ill father executed a wrong power of attorney?
A power of attorney is an instrument containing an authorization for one to act as the agent of the principal that terminates at some point in the future either by its terms or by operation of law such as death of the principal or agent. In order to execute a power, the principal (person giving the power) must be legally competent. The document must be signed by the principal while he/she has the required legal capacity to give the agent clear and concise instructions. The appointment may be for a fixed period and can be revoked by the principal at any time providing he/she still have the legal capacity to do so.
Legal capacity generally refers to the ability to make a rational decision based upon all relevant facts and considerations.
The agent appointed by power of attorney may be any adult, and is often a close relative, lawyer or other trusted individual. The person appointed does not have to be a resident of the state of Missouri.
If you suspect that mental capacity is at issue, you could bring your father to a qualified physician for an opinion as to whether there are any medical or psychological deficiencies. If the doctor believes there are issues, you could petition the local court to become a conservator and request revocation or voiding of the power of attorney.
A power of attorney signed lacking mental capacity would be void. Similarly, a power of attorney signed under duress or undue influence could be voided by a court.