My folks have two joint accounts, checking and savings. Both accounts are in their trust, they are the trustees. I am the successor trustee. It's getting to the point where I should be a signer on the checking account. Mom agrees, Dad has dementia and will not. I don't have DPOA for either one yet, again Mom will be willing, but not Dad. Is a DPOA useless because the accounts are in their trust, or if I have it for Mom can I write checks? I'm confused.

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Well, many things become a problem here for you.
(1) If you plan to be your parents durable POA? Your not allowed to be joint on their bank accounts.
(2) If dad is incompatent a trust can not be changed.
(3) You say your parents have a joint account together at their bank. Depends on who is the main person on that account? Mother or Father?
If your father doesn't want you on their bank account as joint? Why would you attempt to do so?
There's many type of trusts .Depends on what type of trust your parents have?
In order for you to be your Father's Durable POA he must agree to it. His signature will be required on the POA. He can fire you or have your POA revoked as well. Sounds to me your having some family problems between you and your father. Would explain why he don't want you on his account.
From what I'm getting from all of this is,
If your Mother's health is better then your Father's and if your Mother is compatent.
Have your Mother become your father's DPOA. And have your Mother put you on as second POA incase anything ever happened to her.
Regardless you need your father's blessing.If not your gonna cause a family fight.
If your Dad in incompatent? It's too late. No attorney will fix a thing.
Sounds to me your father is the main person on the accounts. If he wasn't your mother wouldn't have a problem adding you as joint.
If your after to help your parents manage their funds? Become their Durable POA.
If your after to spend your parent's money get on their accounts as joint.
Become Joint before the POA.Once your POA you can't be joint.
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See a lawyer who can explain the terms of the trust. If Dad is legally competent he can block you. If a JUDGE determines he is incompetent, the court will appoint a guardian. The guardian is usually a family member, but if no family member is willing or cannot pass a background check, the judge will appoint a suitable person.
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