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My 99 yr old grandmother has chosen my uncle and myself to be her POA co-agents. My father was her only POA but he passed away recently, leaving no one to take care of her finances. I got her an attorney and he met with her-she made her own choice. My uncle lives in a different state and time zone than me. Have any of you been co-agents with someone who lived far away? The wording of the document is that we work together, not independently. My uncle wants to talk to me about the missing details day after tomorrow. I’m perfectly fine with him being Primary agent and me being back up. It makes sense that one of us holds the checkbooks and pays her bills (she’s not on Medicaid) and does her taxes. I’m just trying to figure out how we can be co-agents from separate places and still carry out her wishes. Grandma is 99, very deaf and lives in assisted living facility in yet another state from us. When my dad got sick and went into hospital he stopped paying her bills-he stopped paying his own-I did that. He died in nursing home after 3 months and now I’m dealing with his estate. It’s a lot to take on! But, my grandmother’s stuff needs to be attended to ASAP.

I think it’s great if you have someone that will work right along side of you . I have a co trustee. That my mother told me are hated until they find her they would get her moved out of her adult family home. The hospital put her in a AFH then I became POA. I had to pay rent fir her because she gave away all her money and embezzled all of my grandparents money they left in the bank to take care of the house they built and lived dearly. My mon rented it out to meth addicts that stole everything my grandparents owned and pawned it off and destroyed their house. I had to kick them out so I could move in and fix it . I spent my own money around 100 grand. My mom was so excited I did that because she didn’t have to worry about it anymore. Well my mom got hooked on meth and started doing synthetic marijuana and sue lost most her ability to think or do anything at 84. 85 in June. She turned into a hoarder and let these two guys take money from her and they never lifted a finger to help clean the house. The city stepped in after I called a detective that worked a robbery at my moms . It was an inside job. Two safes with money and expensive jewelry were taken and my mom held at knife point. These guys said it was me and my older boys that did it. Well my older boys were living in MN at the time and I found out about the robbery on the local news. Financial exploiters turn the victim against family members or anyone that steps in to help. So they can get away with taking every thing of value from the victims. That’s what happened to my mom she turned against me and started claiming false insurance claims on my grandparents before I moved it. These guys destroyed this house but she used none of the five claims to fix the house she just blew the money and drained my grandparents trust. The detective saw a photo of my mom and the house and immediately had the house condemned. Mom was homeless. In and out of hospitals she was three months in a hospital until they could determine her needs . They sent her to an adult family hone because she can’t take care of herself.she then got a restraining order to move me out of my grandparents so she could live here with her drug addicts after I spent thousands. It ended up I got five year protective orders on them but the main guy the one my mom fell in love with. The worst of all hell’s evaded the police so he couldn’t get served. He keeps contacting my mom telling her how to get her house back. I spent 100 thousand or more of my money fixing and paying for her rent of 4000 dollars so she could have a roof over her head. I fixed the house and sold it . The attorneys co trustee mind you put a stop on the sale the day I put the for sale sign ups we fought in court and won. Mom was told she couldn’t live by herself. Buy the co trustee is trying everything he can to get her to think she can move home to her parents. The house I’m now POA on the house I dumped all of our money into years ago. Her co trustee refused to pay me a dime back for being a POA , cleaning and repairing my mom with my own money. He wouldn’t give me a dime back. It’s been three years . The judge took over the decision to pay us what he thought we should get back after hiring a guardian to figure out the accounting that I didn’t well couldn’t keep perfect because of spending almost twenty four seven cleaning and fixing my moms. I just barely had time to take care of myself. The guardian chose the co trustees side and didn’t bother asking me any questions so she determined I should not get back a dime of my money. So the judge said he would decide. Well that was 8 or 9 months ago. Mom is now calling the state anc anyone that will listen to her lies about me trying to sabotage me to get out of the AFH and move back into the house I fixed my grandparents. She’s relentlessly trying. So without being with my life’s savings and broke. My husband got cancer from the stress. Co trustee wouldn’t even give us 6000 dollars and I’m two contempt’
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DeniseMiller Apr 20, 2021
Away from losing my POA because I took the money two times to get my husband his care and paid it all back a week later. No damage was done to hurt anyone but they slapped me with contempt because I took out the money for my husbands care. I don’t know what this world is about anymore but good deeds do not get paid back. It’s caused so much harm to our marriage and life and now I’m expecting to lose the roof over our heads and have to sell everything I own to live in our RV. Be very happy you have someone you can work with. Because there are some sly attorneys out there that don’t care to shears about anyone but their pocket. My attorney is now blaming me for screwing things up fir myself. I paid everything back and then some you can’t win fir losing in these trust situations everyone is out fir themselves I guess. I lost everything everything I had worked so hard for to safe my mom and look what she’s doing to me. She I’d the one that told her attorney not to pay us back. Good luck so sorry this was so long I just needed to explain everything and I didn’t say it all it’s much worse . Years of this life takes a toll on your own. I wouldn’t wish being a POA on anyone even my worst enemy. It’s a hard ruthless job and every one try’s to screw you out of your own money so never spend your own money or you may not get it back. Money does strange things to people. God taught us that.
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Imho, the co agent dynamic may not work if the parties cannot agree.
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Only suggestion

Since he is primary - have him pay monthly bills, taxes...

Since you are closer - have debit and/or credit card to take care of weekly needs: groceries, toiletries, co-pays for doctor... You might want to also have online access to all banking info so you can check for hackers

He reports the monthly expenses to you - so you can check electronic banking to make sure right amounts got paid

You report weekly expenses to him - so he can keep bank accurate accounts of how much are in accounts
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Years back, when my aunt was in a nursing home and had given POA to me, my mom was interested in being co-agents with me for her younger sister. I was attending an appointment with my tax attorney who had been held up in court. The attorney who shared his office sat on the ethics board of a large local hospital.

As she had no appointments, and to my advantage, we got to chatting FREE for a couple of hours about the ethics of senior care taking - - she advised me, in no uncertain terms, to never become a co-agent, and here is the reason, plain and simple;

Although there is everything in favor of having a secondary and tertiary agent named, the purpose of assigning a primary POA is so that one person has the right to make any final decisions - - it doesn't mean that they can't consult with someone else, and take those opinions into consideration.

The purpose of having one person to make a final determination is to avoid having to go to court for the court to make any final decisions. But if there are co-agents who disagree with each other, that's exactly what happens - - the very thing that was to be avoided !!!
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DeniseMiller Apr 20, 2021
I’m POA and my Moms attorney is acting like he is. I have yo get approval fir a bottle of Tylenol and he charges 500 an hour then gets his attorney involved and I have to pay around 800 dollars a bottle by the time we are done. Read my above comment on my three years almost four years taking over as POA with a co trustee . I lost my life savings fir helping. My mother. I’ll never do this again or wouldn’t do what my mom did to my children.
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I think you contacting the lawyer is a good idea. First, you should have been asked before you were assigned. This is one thing that needs to be changed when assigning someone as POA. Those assigned should have to sign off saying they except the assignment and have been made aware of their responsibilities.

I really don't think this co-agent thing would work. As you say ur in 2 different states for one. I also don't think Uncle will be easy to work with. You also have your Dads estate to deal with. As I remember, you are fairly young. I personally would not take this responsibility on. You have good excuses why things won't work. Tell the lawyer you will Fedx the paperwork to ur Uncle. That you have no idea how Dad kept his records so Uncle is just going to need to figure that out for himself.

This was probably said in one of your posts. Dad did not shut your Uncle out. As POA his responsibility was to your grandmom. He was her representative and as such cannot give out her financial info.

I am so sorry your Dad passed. I think at this point you need to concentrate on you, Dads estate, and let yourself grieve. Not to deal with a prickly Uncle. If grandmom wants a co-agent, then assign the lawyer.
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Thanks for the advice. My uncle is a prickly person and has been mad about my dad (his brother) having been chosen as the sole POA up until now. He’s very distrustful of my dad’s handling of grandma’s finances because he was left in the dark. To my knowledge, my dad took great care of his mother financially and he also called and visited her regularly. Something uncle didn’t do. When my father was hospitalized in January I contacted uncle (on dad’s authority) about the situation. My uncle immediately had his attorney write up new POAs with he and his wife as co agents-my grandmother refused to sign-twice.
I honestly think it will be impossible for us to work jointly (the updated NY form says we must agree on everything together) as having to sign every check jointly is going to make taking care of her cumbersome.
maybe if we both agree to hire a third party to handle her finances, that could work. Or, I will just let him do it himself. I’d be willing to be alternate POA as my uncle is not a young man but I think co agents isn’t going to work.
My concern is if we go forward as co agents the banks may not accept it (ive read this can happen). I may try to reach out to grandma’s attorney about this. Talking to grandma is very difficult to stay on topic because of how deaf she is. Phone calls are nearly impossible and she lives 5 hrs away from me.
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rovana Apr 19, 2021
I doubt this would work. If uncle is reasonably competent and hones, why not just let him do it? If you have to agree on everything it will get crazy complicated even to do simple things. I don't see why you would need to run interference between uncle and grandmom. Waste of your time and energy.
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I haven't read it recently, but to the best of my recollection the POAs just named my YB and myself. There wasn't any wording about "co" or primary/secondary, so I'll have to guess it was more like a "co" arrangement. In the six years I managed everything for my mother, he's never done a thing, never asked any questions, nothing. We were also both on her primary CU account, but I had the address changed to my PO Box when I took over paying her bills and I'm the only one with the checkbook. Not a single question, ever.

I would have found it not only impractical to work on this jointly, but frustrating as all get out! Just trying to get a Yes or No about attending a special function or meal for a holiday, etc would take multiple tries, and even then sometimes there was no answer. In addition, his ability to organize leaves a lot to be desired. Did I file everything nicely? No, but I DID keep everything and had somewhat of a filing "system", where I could get what I needed - might take a little while, but I'd find it! In his case, I had a check mailed to him from the CU. Denied ever seeing it or getting it. Had them stop that check and issue another. Suddenly we find it... Arrrgh!

We were also both named executor, no primary, secondary or "co" wording. The only reason I needed to use that was the MC deposit and interest, stimulus from December and soon to get what they shorted on the first stimulus, plus a small amount that was used to open the SS Rep Payee account. When I e-filed, I did NOT check the box that he would decline, but the court sent notice that I would have to submit that form. Ugh. Fortunately I was able to call him and he did take care of it right away. One more thing he and OB didn't have to lift a finger to help with!!!

While you do have to deal with your dad's estate business, there will be lull moments, I would think - based on what I've dealt with so far. I'm on hold waiting for the tax filing and refund before submitting the accounting paperwork. Submitting it incomplete and having to "update" it isn't a simple task! Once those are submitted, it will be waiting mode again.

In discussions with him, does he have any reservations about doing the job? Does he have questions? Is he organized enough to tackle the payments on time and keep good records? Does he have any way to copy the paperwork so that he can send it to you if circumstances required you taking over?

I should think her monthly bills would be fairly minimal, since she lives in AL. When I took over for my mother, she was in her own condo, so lots of bills to juggle. When she moved to MC, it increased juggling as it took almost 2 years to wrap up dealing with the condo and selling it. Before the move I was able to close out a local account she had opened, to make only one account to manage, but SS requires you to become Rep Payee, so back to 2 accounts! The SS account funds were used in full every month towards the MC cost, to make life simpler for me (but every year SS questioned it!) There was also a trust fund to manage and siphon money for MC each month - required being able to guess any extra charges she might incur and variations in utils before the condo sold.

IF he's not comfortable with managing all this alone, you will have to work out something. Taxes shouldn't be too bad, if good records are kept. Most of AL is not deductible, so only concerns are medical treatment and care provided by AL. He or you can buy a pack of folders to keep statements, bills, payments and rcpts, labeled by month and year. A box or tote can be used to store each year's folders.

IF he feels okay handling it all, perhaps you can just be available to him if he has questions. I had mom's taxes and the trust taxes done by an Enrolled Agent. Very knowledgeable, you just need all the paperwork saved handy!
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Frankly it is impossible to be equal co-agent working together, and I believe it should always be written as the primary and the secondary. Meticulous records must be kept. It is quite impossible to keep mailing these back and forth. The bank will want one person on as POA and one person should be paying bills, keeping monthly account of amount in, amount out, assets and expenditures. I would tell them that you do not wish to work as co-agent. There will be language in then that your Uncle can serve. If your Uncle feels unable to do this on his own his POA papers almost certainly allow him to hire a financial fiduciary to do paperwork, record keeping, bill paying for a fee he pays out of the estate. You never have to serve as POA when you do not wish to. Would be up to the Uncle to go to lawyer in his state (grandma's state) to see how to proceed when you resign. He may ask for letter of resignation. I would never serve with another. I haven't time to argue out things with people in my life. This task is difficult enough, as I full well know, without having to communicate constantly with someone else.
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Communication is going to be essential. Even if you both agree that he is primary, you'd still need to be able to know what is going on so you have the ability to take over.

I have found a gmail account and accompanying Google drive useful in a similar situation. Using "Grandma's" email will keep everything in one place rather that mixing her messages with his or yours. I wouldn't keep account numbers or un-passworded tax forms with personal information on the drive, but a spreadsheet with the transactions and balances would be useful. If your uncle isn't up to using Google drive, can he take pictures of receipts, etc. with a cell phone and text them to you? Then you could upload your copies to the drive. Likewise, he could send you a photo of the checkbook register or statement (hopefully with the account number blocked out).

Or, if you each will be getting your own login information for her accounts, then you should be able to set up and view automatic payments or use bill pay to mail checks.
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Tothill Apr 19, 2021
I manage Dad’s rental cottage. I set up a Google account for it too.

All the email go to that email addy, the calendar shows the bookings, a Sheets keeps track of the income and expenses. I use a Google Doc to keep notes. My brother has full access to everything.

In our case my brother is poa, (everything), but is not interested in managing the cabin. My sil used to do it, but she does not have time.
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I'm surprised her attorney let her go the co-agent route. It isn't a good idea for exactly the reasons you have stated here.

You aren't required to take on the duties as POA at all. Just because she appointed you to that position doesn't mean it's required. I'm assuming she didn't make you POA for medical decisions and your uncle POA for financial, so if it's co-everything, then I see no reason why you can't ask your uncle to take on the lion's share of the work for his mother unless you (or Grandma, perhaps?) think he isn't competent to handle the job.

I think you, Unk, and Grandma need to have a conversation. You could ask her privately (if she's competent) why she put both of you in charge and see what she says. She may have made that decision because she doesn't think her other son is completely trustworthy or smart enough to handle it. Maybe she didn't want to hurt his feelings by passing over him a second time after his brother died, but I think you should know why she did it.

The bottom line, though, is you are not obligated to take on this task if it's too much. If Unk is competent to do the work and is amenable to the arrangement, then you can take the backseat and just have him keep you updated on what's going on periodically. Grandma doesn't need to know how the two of you split up the tasks as long as they're getting done.
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