theresaap Asked September 2009

While my mother 91 yrs old is capable she is starting to slow down..How can I get power of attorney without her knowing?

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As someone else pointed out, any charge cards racked up by another person are NOT your responsibility. Do NOT pay them under any circumstances.

I certainly hope that you did NOT co-sign for them. If you did, it was a dumb move.

As a general rule, nobody should ever co-sign a credit card with somebody else. The law holds you liable for any charges they have racked up should they be in default.
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In, NC durable and medical POA is obtained by a paid Atty drawing up the document which is signed by both parties in front of witnesses and notorized. You can't do this in private.

In, NC going for guardianship to be assigned by the court for a parent no longer able to look out for themseves involves getting an atty and going to court. This is a time consuming process that is best avoided by getting the POA's when the person is in a more sound state of mind.

lmw124, the charge cards that your mother racked up are her responsbility to pay off and should not come out of your or your sister's pocket. If need be, your mom might need to file for bankrupsy and then her nursing home can be paid for by medicaide.
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I'd first try baby steps, like getting mom to put me down as "health care proxy."

Next, I'd try to see if she would agree to putting her assets in a revocable living trust - this will protect both of you if she drops dead or becomes incapable of handling her affairs.

I got my late father to sign the revocable living trust papers by constantly reminding him of his mortality, saying that if he dropped dead suddenly it would be a mess for me, etc. I just kept hammering on the issue until he agreed.

Also, he gradually became aware that he was "not with it" like he had been and could not function alone in his house any longer - the house had become a treacherous booby trap for him.

dragonflower
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lmw124 Nov 2009
I don't think you can without her knowing. First of all she might be upset for taking control of her finances, then accuse you of trying to control her. I am in a real mess with my sister trying to get power of attorney. Yes, you have to pay an attorney, go to court, etc. to get it done legally, at least in North Daktoa. Right away when mom got the papers (then send papers and everything) mom was upset and she is challenging it. I just spent five years taking care of her and got burned out and she was falling in the home and trying to get up in the night and think she had someone waiting to pick her up in the parking lot. We were not in an assisted living apartment. I am now regretting that we did not get an assisted living apartment when we moved to North Dakota last year. I don't blame her for wanting to challenge it the way the papers were worded, BUT she does need the care she is getting at the nursing home and does need help with her finances and checkbook. I am in dutch now with all the charge cards she has racked up. It could depend on your mom's personality, how determined she is to stay independent, etc. I would not recommend it unless she is really going downhill and not aware of her finances and spending.
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