Candy1216 Asked March 2012

What if only one family member has POA and access to finances and that person suddenly dies or becomes incapacitated?

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I have two brothers. One brother has POA and is the executor of my mom's estate. He also handles her investments and finances. At this point he is not sharing any information with me or my other brother about any of this. I would like some information in the event he were to pass away before my mother, or he he is unable to carry out his responsibilities. Do most families have a back up plan? How do you handle these things? He is unmarried and has no children. As far as I know he is the only person who knows anything regarding my mothers affairs.

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jeannegibbs Mar 2012
GQ, when the house belongs to Brother you won't need any strength to deal with him -- the house will be fully his responsibility. It won't matter to you whether he gets rid of it or loses it for nonpayment of taxes or moves back and lives in it. Ain't your problem! After all the efforts you've put in taking care of all the problems, won't that be a nice relief?
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Yes, that is the way Mom wants it. She didn't know that my brother had not put my name on the deed after my Dad died but that is ok because I won't want any part of the house once she is gone. I hope I have the strength to make him come and get rid of the place. He lives in California and I live in Florida!
Right now he does her a BIG favor by calling her once or twice a week and visiting once or twice a year!
She once told me that I should get everything but I know that was just because I am always there for her. She still has enough assets to pay her 24/7 for another year or so. She will be 96 in May, legally blind, hard of hearing, incontinent and barely walking. Who knows how long she will live. Hopefully she will not outlive her money.
Thanks for all your help
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jeannegibbs Mar 2012
Goldqueen, you are paying the household fees out of your mother's accounts, right?

I don't know, but I would think that as soon as Brother becomes the sole owner of the house he also becomes solely responsible for the costs of upkeep, sales, etc.

Your job as POA is over when your mother dies.

As joint owner on her bank accounts, when she dies anythig left in the accounts becomes yours, right? Is that what your mother intends -- one brother gets the house and you get anything left in the accounts? Is there anything else in her estate that needs to be distributed?

Is it possible that she will run out of funding before the end? Is she on medicare? Have you applied. Does she get a monthly income of some kind? (SS or pension, etc.) You know her financial situation. If you think she might run out of funds, take action, regardless of your brother's comments.

Good luck.
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I know what you all mean. I am POA on my Mom's finances. My brother always tells me "don't worry" when she is running out of money. What is that supposed to mean?????? I also am joint owner on her bank accounts.
My one brother is suffering from MS and can't handle his own affairs so he really doesn't care what I do. Her house is in her name and my brother's name. I am paying all the maintanence fees on the house now. What happens when she dies? If the house is not sold do I keep paying the maintanence, taxes etc?
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palmtrees1 Mar 2012
Candy1216, your questions could have been asked by me. I am having some of the same difficulties as you are. My Mom made my brother POA of finances, I have no information about Medical POA, he is executor of her will, etc. I am competely in the dark. There has never been a family meeting and my brother and I are her only children.

All said, my problems go back to childhood and her narcissistic game playing. However, without those alternates, I would have to seek guardianship for her if he should die. You do not want to have to do this. It is expensive and time consumming and no gurantee it will be you appointed.

I have explained all of this to my Mom and brother and they still tell me nothing. it has been really ugly. You may think I am not a responsible person, or just not intelligent or have taken money from her. None of this is true about either my brother or me. The problem lies in in her.

Good luck to you, try to get her to understand the expense guardianship would cost you and then ultimately her. Google seeking guardianship. It is the last thing you want to have to do.
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Candy1216 Mar 2012
Thanks again Jeanniegibbs. I really appreciate your comments. This website has been saving my sanity these days.....
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jeannegibbs Mar 2012
Your mother can change her healthcare directive and POA weekly as long as she is competent. She does not need anyone's permission. Obviously, it would be a good idea for the POA brother to know what has been done.

Yes, there can be backups for the Health Care proxy, too. In my opinion, one person should have decision-making power for health at a tme. Decisions may need to be made quickly, and assembling a committee can be ugly. But I also think it wise to have backups specified. All backups should be specified by your mother.
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Candy1216 Mar 2012
Thanks Jeannegibbs. I really wanted to hold a family meeting too, because at this point my mom is mentally competent to add alternates, make decisions, etc... but seems like family drama is taking over and we might not get to that point. Can I ask her to give my other brother and I alternate POA without the consent of the brother who already has it? I am just so concerned that if something happened to him first, we would not know where to begin to look or what to do. BTW, I am the caregiver and hold the health care proxy. Do you know if I should/can get an alternate health care proxy as well?
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jeannegibbs Mar 2012
I am POA for my husband. Two children are named as alternates in the event I am unable to perform the duties -- not together, but first one, and then a backup for that person.

I held a family meeting with the 5 kids and determined who wanted the backup POA and medical proxy roles and thought they could do them well.

I don't keep the alternates informed of our finances, but they are not very complicated. If I'm incapacitated the designated person will probably be able to figure it out quickly.

I do keep everyone informed of health issues.

Let us hope that your brother is keeping good documentation.

Is your mother mentally competenet (by legal standards) to add alternate POA names now?
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