Mom never sat down with me to plan proxy, POA, etc. and now she's in hospital.

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For the past 3 years, since my stepfather passed, I've been trying to reach out to my mom (she lives in the same city as myself) to encourage her to complete the health care proxy, living will, etc. She agreed verbally to my being her health care proxy, but kept putting off doing the actual paperwork. She also became understandably depressed after my stepfather died. The bad thing is this: her hoarding tendencies became worse and she started getting rats. To make a long story short, she is now in a rehabilitative facility after having gone to the hospital because the neighbor found her laying on her porch unable to get up and walk. Many of us have tried to reach out to her, and have told her that she needed help, but she kept saying that she was fine. Now this happened! The house is disgusting. A friend and I started the cleanup process before mom got to this point, but she became 'fussy' about what she wanted thrown out. Now, I can't find her checkbook to help her pay for bills, needs, etc. I went into the house and found what I could (a bank statement, a bill from each company) but no checkbook. The bank understandably can't give me information and only does limited POA, but the lady suggested I become a durable POA. I know some about this, but am on SSDI and don't know if it will effect my finances. Also, I was told that I have to get a lawyer for durable POA but don't know where to start and worry about the fees. I appreciate any feedback from the wonderful people on here. Thank you!

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Pumkin711, did your sister just talk about you being the POA, or did the paperwork actually get done? I think that makes a difference in how I would proceed.
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For whatever reason, your sister asked you to do the POA.
Maybe she felt you were stronger than her daughter, maybe she didn't want her daughter to have to make decisions, maybe her daughter was young and silly, maybe she knew that her daughter was planning to move to Alaska, I don't know.

-assuming your family communicates reasonably well and gets along OK:
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If you want to check, I think it would be OK to ask your sister, while you two are alone, if she would like to change the POA. It doesn't have to be confrontational, after all, medical conditions and family situations change - I think you are being thoughtful by your concern.
From personal experience, I wonder, does her daughter want the POA? You see, I don't want it. I did that for my grandmother and I don't want to do it for my mother. So, if her daughter has not said she wants to do this, then sleep on it before you say anything.
And, having the POA doesn't have to be a big confrontation. If you feel it is right, you can discuss decisions with her daughter and other family members. Having the POA doesn't mean you have to make all decisions in a vacuum.
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Just remember that what you do has to be the best for your sister only, and you have to do what you believe is right, not necessarily convenient for others.
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. Keeping the family informed on changes and developments and, in some cases, decisions you make, is very helpful. This may be quite tiring for you after a long day - I find that emails are easier than a bunch of phone calls.
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If your family is like mine and communicates, well, poorly:

The above suggestions do not apply to my family. If people are angry or confrontational, and you feel comfortable talking to them to find out why they are angry, go ahead. If you do not feel comfortable doing that, then you have no obligation to anyone except your sister - just because you are the POA does not mean you have to be the family therapist for a bunch of crazy people. You don't have to fix anyone's relationships. This is why I do not want the POA for my Mom - we siblings are, um, just not real good at "the talking thing."
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Helping family members pay their rent is not part of the POA. No matter what they say or how sad or desperate their story is.
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My Sister is in the hospital with malignant lung cancer and wanter me to be her POA prior to hearing this news. Now her Daughter entered the picture and my sister is having a hard time as she is in ICU so do I bow out of the picture and let her daughter take over or do I confront my Sister. Would appreciate some help on this. Thank you
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madge1--thank you for this information. it is a place to start and i can talk to her social worker (when she is matched w/ one) at the rehab to see if they have a notary there. good luck to you in your situation as well. we'll all get through!
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Heather all you need for the Durable POA is to down load the one on line for your state and print, have a notary notarize it after you and your mother sign it in the notary's presence. Is is not expensive. Most UPS Stores will do this for you, but remember she needs to be present to sign this. She can not sign it and have you take it to the notary. However some banks want you to sign their POA and have them on file as well. You may want to check with her bank.

There may be a notary at the rehab facility as well. They may even have the forms you need or can give you advice as to where to get them.

You can have a medical poxy and living will notarized at the same time you do the durable POA. Make sure it is a durable POA that she signs. A lawyer would be useful in regards to explaining what your mom needs and how it is used. Maybe that would help your mom feel better about giving this power to you. But this can be costly. You may find a lawyer who does pro bono work (free) and can give you advice.

Being her POA only gives you the power to sign for her, you are not responsible for her bills. I wish you well, I know how hard it is for some parents to face the fact they have to give up a little power to be properly cared for. I am in this battle with my mother at this moment. She has given my brother POA but has no living will or medical proxy. And she has no alternate on the POA.

That is another issue. If there is someone else you trust, make them the alternate POA. This is for the times you can not act as POA or if you, God forbid, die. Without an alternate and if your mother is incompetent, someone would ahve to seek guardianship. Now that is a can of worms.

Good luck to you
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