I have Power of Attorney, do I need to obtain guardianship as well?

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I am the only child and she has alzheimers. What she thinks she can and cannot do can vary from day to day. If i do need to file for guardianship do you know any agency's that woud help pay the fees? since my mom is 75 and my husband and i are living on disability? I hope you can help she has taken control of her finances again and doen't understand she has house payments as well as other bills due.

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Hi Jean,
It's possible that your mother could, on a bad day, withdraw the POA, but would she be able to do that? Gaining guardianship is expensive. I don't know of any help as far as paying for the attorney, but you can check with your state law organization and they can let you know of attorneys that will take on some free or low cost cases. The chance that she'll be clear enough to go through the paperwork of revoking the POA is probably small, but only you can decide how much is at risk. Take care.
Carol
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Since you have POA now, can you set up her bills to be paid automatically from her account? If I didn't have my own mortgage and utilities and cable bills etc taken directly out of my account my own credit rating would be trashed. I can afford them all, but not the time it takes to keep up with them without help. Even my main credit card that I use for everything from groceries to clothing to dinners out to vacations is paid automatically in full each month. I still look over the statements, but I can do it on my own schedule without fear of incurring late fees and interest charges.

My sister who handles my mother's limited financial transactions has set her up on automatic pay for everything possible, and is also able to monitor her checking account on line.

My husband has dementia, and I've taken him off our main accounts and opened a checking account for him, where I keep a small balance. He can still review the monthly statements and write small checks for things like a haircut or a purchase in the science museum gift shop when we are there, but he can't do anything that will put the mortgage payment at risk!

I hope you will come up with creative ways to allow your mother to feel she has some financial independence while you retain control. Guardianship is pretty drastic, if you can get by without it.

My husband could theoretically revoke my POA. He'd have to fill out a form and then get it notarized -- two things that are pretty unlikely even on a good day. And then he'd have to notify banks and others who assume the POA is still valid. And it wouldn't be very hard for me to demonstrate that he is not legally competent to be making that decision. As Carol says, you are the one that has to weigh that risk.

It is so painful to realize that our loved ones might take actions that will harm themselves. We do our utmost to prevent that, weighing the pros and cons and consequences of each option. Do your best, in love. And don't beat yourself up if some decisions don't work out as you intended. (It is called being human.)

Best wishes in a difficult situation,
Jeanne
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