Power of Attorney
My father died last week in St. Louis at age 93. I have had General Durable Power of attorney since 1997. He remarried in 1999 at age 93 while suffering from Alzheimer’s. His life insurance beneficiary was changed to his wife’s name, even though I had power of attorney at that time. Did he have the legal authority to change the beneficiary from me (his daughter) to his present wife? and do I have legal recourse now?
Secondly, I found a cashier’s check made out to my father dated 1996 while cleaning his house last week. The bank says they need a letter from the Probate Court before they can release it to me. The check was endorsed by him and I had power of attorney at that time.
Re: Power of Attorney
You have the right to contest the changing of the beneficiary. Having a durable power of attorney means that you can sign documents and admister care, but it does not mean you have guardianship. If you had guardianship your approval would be needed for him to change the beneficiary. If you believe he was not competent at the time he changed the beneficiary that is grounds for you to contest it. I recommend that you consult with an attorney in Missouri to find out the laws of that state and what your options are. You can contact the State Bar of Missouri if you need a referral to a probate attorney. I wish you the best of luck.
John Hayes, Esq.
The John Hayes Law Offices
P.O. Box 3003
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403