Removing a hurdle in caring for mom

My mother requires constant care. I have hired a round-the-clock geriatric care agency to look after her. It’s very expensive. I want to take a loan out against the house so mom can stay home, and not have to go to a nursing home. To do this, I need to get the deed to the house, which is entirely paid for. I cannot get the deed out of the safe deposit box because it’s in Mom’s name only; they said I need a court order, plus the trust and power of attorney documents, which I do have, to get into the box. Can you get this court order by yourself if my mother’s physician certifies that she has dementia and is incapable of making decisions, or do I have to hire an elder law attorney?

You do not need to concern yourself with the original deed to your mother’s home, so long as the deed was recorded by the County Recorder. Title companies handling escrow for home sales and loans rely solely on recorded deeds. The only reason you would need to get the original deed out of your mother’s safe deposit box is if it has not yet been recorded.

You ought to be able to get into the safe deposit box, if necessary, using your mother’s durable general power of attorney if the box is titled in her name alone. However, many banks do not honor perfectly valid durable general powers of attorney other than their own bank forms. As a general rule, if you want your children or other trusted family…

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California News
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