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Our 80's parents live in their own home and have diminishing health. My brother lives 650 miles away, and sees them a week or two out of the year. I live 250 miles away and see them every 2-3 or 4 weekends depending upon the current need.

Its time to put POA in place, and I talked with my parents about this on the last trip. They agreed that it could/should be between my brother and myself (not the remaining 3 sibs). My parents told me to discuss it with my brother and decide how we want to handle it and they would agree.

I called my brother to let him know of the situation and suggested that he become POA for Finance and I become POA for Health. It is my intention to start attending their important doctor visits as backup. Brother's response is to postpone any movement on the subject until he can speak with my parents face to face which is another month or two. He claims that as executor of their estate, he will be POA for Finance, but will not discuss my being POA for Health.

It is better to get POA in place sooner rather than later because my mother needs the care of a Neurologist and as soon as she goes there, she and my dad could both be diagnosed with dementia. Dad is her primary care giver, hence the possible complications from all this.

I have approached this topic wanting to collaborate with my brother, to come up with a plan for caregiving and to start assuming more legal responsibilities, along with on-the-ground responsibilities.

His response to me is to be rude, dismissive, domineering, bullying, and insulting. He talks over me, he dismisses my input, he lectures me, he talks down to me, he ignores any ongoing discussions he hasn't been involved in, he is deciding to do what he thinks is best on his own with no sense of collaboration, he refuses to have an open discussion, he refuses to express his real motives and he accuses me of pressuring him.

If I start a conversation, he interrupts me and starts explaining things to me that I already know and starts giving me direction. When I finally get a word in to give him information, or tell what is already occuring or what has already been discussed, it seems to inflame him beyond reason.

He does not understand or respect that I have been a part-time caregiver to our parents for the past 3 years.

i believe that his world view demands that he drive the ship, and that everyone else is his inferior and underling. He is a high placed administrator in health care for elderly, and the elder brother.

My world view is that birth order, age and gender are irrelevant. Its down to who is capable and motivated to take tangible responsibility for our parents. That we should collaborate in a loving way that makes it easy and comfortable and safe for my parents, and that there is no need for contension. I am a professional in a position of responsibility and have lead a stable, interesting life. I am financially, emotionally and intellectually capable of taking care of our parents, and my husband supports my effort fully.

I have let him and his ego and rudeness go for years, but now its getting in the way of something that I really, really care about, and I am not going to back down. I am not going to be treated in this way, or to be edged out or dismissed as a helping hand who isn't capable of holding real responsibility.

I am letting him stew in his own juices for now, but I am so hurt and insulted by his behavior that I can think of little else.

My question is this. Can anyone give insight into why he is behaving in this way or how to handle it?

Many thanks in advance.

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Bagsandshoes, I just read your post and I am shocked and sorry for you. I have been for the past three years very angry at my Mother and brother because of the way Mom has given my brother all POAs and his namely only on accounts, etc. It was so hurtful and I told her so, she didn't care. She is very paranoid and thinks I wanted her money. I never took or asked for one red penny in my life. BUT, after reading your comments I realize that I am the one who can stay away from all of her business,hold my brother accountable, not get blamed for anything and just remind everyone how she "doesn't trust me". I can't imagine having her blame me for stealing, etc. and having to appear in court to defend myself. I guess you have opened my eyes to what "could" happen and how I need to keep my distance from this crazy, paranoid woman. And she has given me the means to do so.
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I am the only daughter with three living brothers. My Dad has been living with me for almost three years as he needs more care than an assisted living facility could give him. He and I have always had a special relationship. Before he moved with me he lived in a retirement complex near 2 of my brothers and my oldest brother had POA and POA for health. When Dad wanted to come and live with me, my brothers were supportive as neither one was capable of taking him and he did not want to go to the nursing facility. My oldest brother decided that my dad would be given an allowance and my Dad would have to ask him for more money. They felt that he would spend too much of his money on me and my family.

Dad wanted to give us the money instead of the nursing home to help with the household. By the way, my dad is very sharp but a gentle man. My brother was getting hostile with me and with my dad, which very nearly killed him. Once my dad recovered his health he asked to see an attorney to change the POA to my name as I was closer and because my brother was not allowing him to live his life and use his money as he saw fit.

Everyone calmed down from that after a while until my dad decided to buy a house and use some of his savings money. The X?@#$ hit the fan and they accused him of not loving them as shown by his use of the money and loving me more and were worried where their inheritance was going. I was also accused of swaying my dad to do these things. We are not talking a lot of money here but they have made it very personal and very hurtful. I know he wants to help me as we have fallen on harder times, as he has also helped them during their lifetime.

I am also co-executor with my third brother and am happy for that but I am grieving for the relationship that my brothers and I once had. I can't fault my dad for his decisions but it has made it difficult for me.

Having said all that, I feel your pain and am continually amazed that my siblings have turned into these agressive nasty people.
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Dear Waterstone,
Just read your note from June. Please do not listen or be bullied by your elder brother in reference to POA and health care proxy. My brother was made POA. I was given the Health care proxy for Mom. Dad is deceased. My brother refused to let me pay bills or anything related to finances, even though he has become bed-ridden and disabled from MS. I have recently discovered financial misappropriations of mom's money, stealing funds from her accounts , taking rental property income and directly depositing it in his own bank accounts while my mom is almost out of money from a reverse mortgage that I have discovered he tapped lots of money from too. So, here's the point. There must be 2 POA's on mom and dad's behalf, so that one monitors the others actions. This must happen. Then, one health care proxy should be given to the adult child who is most willing to talk to doctors, etc, If your brother thinks he knows it all, then certainly he should be the last of the siblings who should be in charge. You should elect a sibling who would be able to weigh and measure health care decisions and consult with all of you. Please find out from parents what they would want as it concerns end of life issues, i.e feeding tubes, respirators, etc. You have to know this, because I didn't, and I had to make this decision for mom since she has dementia and couldn't . Very gut wrenching. Don't let anyone have ultimate financial power. AND, you could consult a lawyer on your own and when you visit mom and dad, just make the POA and Health care proxy without him. At least something is in place and you could take care of them for now. Who knows what his motives are? Make sure you read the WILL and get it redone if nothing sounds equal. Good luck and do what is right and best for parents. Ask them what they want, but the oldest son may be the worst choice, so at that point , You do what you think is best.
Good luck.
Helen
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Since finding this forum, I have found out that this is common among family. I’m having similar problems. I was my parents’ only child for almost 10 years before my sister was born. Our dad, whom my sister was close to, died over 30 years ago. I was always closer to our mom, did things for her and took her on vacations. She harbored resentment towards mom when dad died. Years passed and mom thought that she healed from the grief. Three years ago, I noticed that mom was having some problems. I knew that I needed a label to identify what was happening to mom. My sister objected to mom being seen by another doctor to diagnose the problems once she learned that I had taken her. Mom was diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Mom takes Aricept. During this time there was no DPOA in effect. My sister and I have had an off and on relationship over the years. I didn’t know that there was sibling rivalry (child or adult) or jealousy until I experienced rude treatment from my sister after I came to her aid in one of many situations several years ago. As a result we do not communicate. I have a post-graduate degree and 25 years of experience as a professional. I cannot afford to get arrested and lose my job over lies.

Mom was confusing paying her bills and ordering products from TV. I realized the frustration, so I began to handle her finances. Mom’s accounts were in joint with me since dad’s death. One day, Mom told my sister that she didn’t have access to her money because I was handling it. I discovered a sum of money had been withdrawn from mom’s account. Mom denied going to the bank. The money wasn’t in the house. I thought someone followed her and took the money. Then my mom explained that she withdrew the money to help one of her grand-daughter’s open an account. This was the beginning of an ongoing nightmare.
I began to document everything. The bank recommended I have a POA on file so no unauthorized person can withdraw from her account. I attended a legal meeting at the local Alzheimer’s Association and was advised to obtain a DPOA. Mine was in effect for 1 year when my sister had my mother to sign another DPOA and a health care proxy. Mom doesn’t remember signing my sister’s DPOA and denies signing any papers. My sister along with several people took my mother to the bank and removed my name from the account. Now my sister’s name is on the joint account. It turned out the bank never filed my DPOA in their system. The bank says if people look “normal” they do not question what customers want to do. I think there should be more awareness in protecting their elderly customers from vulnerability. My sister denied being on the account. My sister has designated her daughter to be her alternate DPOA. My sister also had mom to change the beneficiary on her life insurance policy that she has had for 25+ years. My sister states that mom doesn’t want me to get anything. Our small family consists of 6 members. Two are controlling mom or protecting her from me. The others in the next generation and me are left out altogether.

Mom made a will over 25 years ago. She never imagined her two children wouldn’t communicate. In her will we are both listed as co-executrices. My sister doesn’t want me to know anything about mom. She says she’s in charge. I used to contact her about mom’s health and welfare when I had DPOA but she wouldn’t talk to me. She is telling lies about me so that she will shine. I’m not interested in mom’s money because she gave away most of it while she was in her good faculties. Mom has been there for both of us. I have been there for mom all my life. I am the one that mom has called on when she was in need. It’s the principle of the matter that is sad and hurtful.

Recently I was summoned to Family Court twice to respond to allegations that my mother supposedly made against me to get an order of protection to keep me away from her. Court sees families bringing cases like this in all the time. Both cases against me were dismissed.
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@madge1 That's unfortunate - I hope it all actually goes smoothly and doesn't cause any more distress. Wonder of wonders that parents trust the male relative more. Funny, going through this with my folks, my father was more receptive and respectful of me and my ability to take on responsibility than my mother. Her response? "Do you really want to have that responsibility?" with some mild incredulity.

Is there a correlation between the ability to project into the future to view multiple contingencies and the willingness to take on the role of caregiver? Or the caregiver's anxiety? I am trying very very hard not to obsess over things that aren't actually happening, and my sibs think I'm inflaming/exaggerating for nothing. I'm not - I just want to prevent awful things from happening.
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Good thing there are secondary POAs. This has been a problem with my family. Brother is sole POA and everything else. Mom too paranoid to put anyone else on things. She has no reason for this and I fear I will be left with no power should my brother die. I have begged, been angry, done everything to get her to see that she needs the two of us. She has hurt my feelings, and knows it, but still refuses to put anyone on her POAs except him. He is not the better person, jsut male. He tells me if anything happens to him, I can just get guardianship. Really??? At whose expense? No way.
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@sunlight I am so sorry to hear that you are having to go through that. You deserve for things to go easily after all your sacrifices. We've resolved the situation by my parents designating me as POA for Healthcare (paperwork in place) with bro as secondary and bro as POA for Finance (paperwork is not in place) with me as secondary. Given his behavior throughout there is no way he'll be easy to work with, but at least our responsibilities are clear at this point. I hope that things become easier for you.
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Please try to take care of this ASAP. My older sister who has NPD and I were never very close. Even though I moved away, I saw my parents more than she did and was the primary care taker taking unpaid leave for several months to take care of my Dad when he became very ill and my Mom with Alzheimer's last summer. My sister did very little. When my father died, she jumped into the picture to take over the financial accounts even though we are both JDPOA and JMPOA. It has been a nightmare...she makes unilateral decisions, doesn't respond to my phone calls or e-mails regarding my Mom's care or finances and has spent thousands of my Mom's money on legal expenses as executrix. I have had to hire a lawyer to protect my Mom's money and my character which she is attacking with lies. I just spent all summer taking care of my parents because she would not help out and am recovering from that ahd the loss of my beloved father and now havign to spend thousands on a lawyer to protect myself and my Mom.....if you have any doubts about your brother, tell you parents....JDPOA does not work with a NPD sibling....it is a nightmare!
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P.S. My brother too thinks he is the "Big Shot". He worked his way up in a business and that is all he talks about. My Mom thinks he hung the moon. He even now does nothing for Mom and she is an eighty year old widow. Just wait until she needs help. You brother wants control but does he want to do all the work, of course not. Sounds alot like my brother.
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Just a thought, but he is the last of your siblings I would want in charge of anything. First he is going to take over and leave everyone else out. The other siblings are going to want to know what is going on and be updated on things. Will he do this, of course not. I see hard feelings and bad times coming. Talk frankly to your parents about all of this. It is their responsibility to make sure things go smoothly. My Mother appointed my brother as her POA financial, executor of her will, put him on her bank accounts, etc. I was not even considered. I also live hundreds of miles away. She lied about me and now I do not talk to her. I hope you can resolve this problem before it turns into a disaster. Remind your brother, the person with "all the power" gets "all the responsiblity". That is what I have told my "marvelous" brother. I think he is a little scared right now. Ha.
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All of this has been a lesson to me. I can't tell you for sure who has our POA. We are a long way from being incompetent, or rather I am, and I'm much younger than hubby so we assume that children taking over is far, far in the future. We did fill out all the papers. We kind of figured that it was a formality and the kids would work together. Hmmm ... we are going to have a family meeting this summer and I am going to revisit the topic of POA, now that I have a much better picture of what it entails. Thanks for sharing.
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@Nataly1 Thanks for the suggestions. The POAs have not been drafted yet. Our parents amicably agreed that bro and I could be their POAs and figure it out between us. It seems that we're not able to do that, so it goes back to the parents to consider and decide.
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It sounds as if your brother wants all of the control and none of the responsibility. A lot of families chose the eldest out tradition- it's what has always been done. The reality is that the person chosen should be the best person who will follow their wishes. It sounds like "unofficially" you have been that person. I would suggest speaking with your parents to find out the reason that they feel that your brother would be the best POA for them and explain what a POA does. They are in their eighties and times have changed. Check with an elder law attorney first to see exactly what is covered under both POA's. Also, since you will be going with them to appointments and managing their care you should also draw up a "caregiver agreement" that will compensate you for your efforts. You might say that you will do it for free- the reality is that in the future they might need more time and energy then you think. You might also consider speaking with a family mediator to see if you and your brother can come to an agreement. Good luck.
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@italianbabs - good point about the permission to visit with them; I can get that if they're really willing to share the info.

@GemG - you are so right - I don't want to have to work through him to get things done. That said, there is no reason why my parents can't put my name on accounts to help them pay for things.

@PatriceE - it would probably be best to speak to an atty so that they are getting objective feedback in case the PoA is challenged.

Thanks all for the feedback.
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Hi WaterStone,

Go see your parents and get both POA's in your name. It sound like you will take care of them and help them get what they want. You don't need even need at attorney. My POA is 16 pages long you and your parents can go to a notary. Other things need to be in place. When they die the POA is powerless.

Just do it and take care of them!
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If you are the child providing the care giving then in the longer term you need to have access to your parent’s funds without having to "beg" your brother to open the purse strings. Responsibility without any authority will potentially make things difficult for you down the road. As you are the one who does the majority of the care giving it would be best if you had both financial and medical POA for your parents.
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There is a big difference between Executor and POA. If your brother was as smart as he thinks he is and would like everyone to believe, he would know this. Executor only comes into play when your parents are deceased if he was indeed made the executor of their estate. POA is only valid while they are alive. As soon as they pass that job ends. Speak to your parents in a calm manner and explain to them that you are the closest one living by them and it will soon be your responsibility to take them to their appointments. You do not need medical POA to take them to the doctor. All you need is for them to sign the document at the doctor's office stating that their information can be discussed with you. That's it. Medical POA comes into play if the get ill and cannot speak for themselves. An advance directive will also put their wishes in effect and the POA means nothing then. So dont' get all hell bent on being the POA. It doesn't really mean to much. My sister had POA on everything but I took mom to a new doctor and it's no problem. You parents can go to any doctor they want and the doctor can tell you with their permission what is going on with their health as their caregiver. If your parents are in a good state of mind, they can make you POA and don't have to tell your brother anything until it's done. It's an easy process and can be done through an attorney the legal way or you can get a document online and then have it notarized for validity. It makes sense for you to be their caregiver and POA since you are the closest and can make sure they are in good hands. If you brother gives you crap about it then he is not doing what is in the best interest for his parents and just wants to be controlling. My sister did that and my mom revoked her POA. So if he is bullying now, as POA it will only get worse.
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@cmagnum Thank you for your feedback and support.
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Glad to help. 3. People very seldom triangulate other on purpose. 5. I think at some point they are going to ask about you two, and you are probably going to have to tell them. 6. Denial is a tough one and often can be overcome with a third party's input like their doctor or a home health nurse coming by to do an evaluation. Somehow, they need to understand this is something they are doing for themselves by authorizing someone they trust, trust is the big issue here, to help them financially and medically when they are no longer capable to handle their business in a business like manner or make medical decisions for themselves. 7. Wow 11 years can be like light years apart for I've seen that among my cousins who had 12 siblings. I'm always sorry to hear about grown siblings being afraid of their parents and not assuming full responsibility for themselves and their experience. You sound like a very mature person who has an adult to adult relationship with their parents.

I wish you the best in all of this mess.
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@naheaton - sounds like you have struck a good balance.

@jeannegibbs - thanks for the support. Probably enough assets to see them out with comfort, and a little extra. I don't think it s a greed thing. Its a good idea to visit an elder care atty - someone that could provide objective advice. Bookmarking this idea.

@sonyam - I hear what you are saying about problems with two POA, but with him being so far off and not able contribute small steps along the path, I can't see him taking both as a practical solution. I cannot imagine a world where he would want me to take both, even though I am willing, and viewed in measured terms, am best aligned to take the responsibility. Thanks for the words - you are right - this is all in service of them.

@cmagnum - many good things to think about.

1 - he is not confused - he knows (and I reminded him) that executorship starts only upon their deaths, and that we are talking about managing the here and now. I believe he's saying that in hopes that I fall for it. He stated categorically that he would not be comfortable with sharing Financial POA with me, or with me having it.

2 - This is an excellent point. It is their decision. My father is not POA for my mother, though it is my brother's rec that he become so. I think this is a bad idea as his faculties are already failing.

3 - Interesting point. I don't believe it was their intention to triangulate us, but perhaps we all thought that bro and I could work it out amicably. I don't know what they are aware of in terms of family dynamics. I think they would be surprised to learn what a db he is being.

4 - Yes, there are other sibs, and they an hour away from the parents. I see our parents more frequently than any of them. Through disposition and capability, none of them are good bets.

5 - I have not told my parents about the conflict. It was my hope to spare them discomfort. I think a reasonable and benign next step would be to simply help educate them on what POA is, and the decisions involved.

6 - Tricky. They are in denial about their own status. It is time they had someone coming to the house to help them administer mom's meds and clean and keep good food in the fridge. It is time for Dad to stop driving. They have stopped saying "Come visit any time, we love seeing you." and have started saying "We know what you're doing and we really appreciate all your help." That will be an interesting conversation when we're all sitting around the table.

7 - Yes, they probably have propped him up as elder son. I am the youngest, and at 47 am 11 years bro's junior. The family dynamic has me as "the baby" although we have a kind of two-family dynamic - the first 5 kids were born close together, then 5 years later I came along. I'm like an only child and have a different relationship with my parents - more of a peer relationship, esp with my mother. I let their roles as parent become a ceremonial one years ago, assuming full responsibility for myself and my experience. The rest of the sibs still seem afraid of their parents.

8 - Upshot - you are right. It is their responsibility. My bro and I have not been able to collaborate on this, so its resting entirely on the folks' shoulders, where it was all along.

Your words have given me much to think about from angles that I hadn't seen and you have truly helped me. Thank you.
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First, I think your brother is confused. As executor of their estate, he will not be POA for Finance. Have the two of you read the will if it is joint or wills if they are separate which most are? Does he understand the difference between being the executor of an estate which begins with either parent's death and Durable POA which ends with either parents death? If not and you have a family lawyer, it might be good for him to hear the difference from an objective third party since your relationship with your bother is already conflicted.

Second, it is really up to your parents to chose who is going to be POA and the sooner that decision is made the better. I sure hope your dad is not already POA for your mother or her for your father because that frankly does not work.

Third, your parents are being to passive about this and in a sense have triangulated you, your brother, and your parents in this discussion. In my opinion, now that you have told your brother what role you want and he seems to want the durable POA, then the two of you together face to face need to say what each would like in order to avoid the confusion of "he said, she said." But still, it is your parents decision to make and they can change it anytime they want as long as they are of sound mind. Surely they are aware of how your bother relates with you and has he been that way since childhood?

Fourth, why are you two chosen and the other siblings being left out? That is a set up for conflict. If I were your parents, I would pick the two children who would do the best job and work with each other the best if I were going to separate POA between the children.

Fifth, you have told us about your conflicted relationship with your brother about this, but I have not read that you have told your parents? Have you told them?

Sixth, they and he really do need to talk and confront him with your perception of things. If he blows up at them, that's enough proof there that they need to not chose him, but select another sibling.

Seventh, do any of your other siblings live right where they are?

Seventh, it sounds like your parents have somewhat of a worldview about oldest child and first born sons in selecting him with you. I gather that you two must be the two oldest and possibly not very far apart in age.

Eighth, I really think your parents need to take responsibility for who they chose among their children for they for sure know all of ya'll well and just go ahead, meet with a lawyer to draw up a POA, select someone, sign it themselves, have it notarized and then let everyone know who has it.

I'm sorry you are having so much conflict with your older, take charge, must be in control brother. I wonder where he learned that from? I'm sorry that the two of you have evidently never had a real bother/sister relationship which is worse.

I wish you well in working through this maze and while I am not a therapist, you might need one to help you understand your brother and learn some communication skills with which to deal with a personality like his which sounds very narcissistic or at least the spoiled one of the family.
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I am sorry you are going thru this with your brother.

When it comes to POA's my suggestion would be that there is only one. If you have two then there will be problems. I would tell your parents that you would like to be the POA and that decisions would be made by all of the siblings with you as the final decision maker.

Unfortunately, you may find that your brother becomes more hostile so just be preprared and don't let it hurt you because this is about your parents not him.
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I think you've answered your own question, WaterStone. Brother behaves this way because he has an inflated ego and he is rude. He has gotten by with this, at least within family, for years. Why would he suddenly change?

Stick to what you feel is best for your parents. Don't back down just because you are being bullied. Listen to Brother's views, too, of course. Perhaps the two of you can go together to visit an Elder Law attorney and/or a CPA. Are there a lot of assets to be concerned about?
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I started out being the sole person as POA for my mother-in-law since I was the one taking care of her the majority of the time. I paid her bills etc. But then it was my thought that someone other than myself should also be on there with me. So we added my brother-in-law since he was the one that seemed most knowledgeable about the financial stuff like me. Now we have all three of her boys on the account with her as co-owners but I'm still only POA. When she dies my job is legally done, which is fine by me, and the boys take over. But I still pay her bills and run the checkbook alone. Everything is accessible online to her sons to check up on whatever I'm doing, keeping my conscious clean. So far, so good. Just remember POA ends when the person dies, so you've gotta be on the account as co-owners.
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