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He's now in hospice care. I've already paid for a simple cremation whenever that becomes necessary, which leaves about $700 in his checking account. His daughter in CA is struggling, but asked if I can use her dad's money to pay for a flight and a hotel for whatever money would be left. I'm a trusted friend and not a family member.

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At the very least, there will be probate court filing fees, in MN it's around $300, even to settle the smallest estate (if I recall correctly ). Certified copies of the Death Certificate will be needed and these are not free. Obituaries are not free. There may also be account closing fees at the bank. I'm anticipating lots & lots of "little" expenses for my mom's final expenses and worried, she has only $8,000 in her bank, which seems like a lot but really not much.
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Forgot to answer your question, Guest, the principal is on the Medicare Waiver program...and to Chicago, you're right, what if there is money owing for other expenses after he passes away...!
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Thank you Guest and Chicago. The daughter called just as I clicked into the responses, so was able to read both posts to her. She must feel so helpless at what is going on when she has no control. Even if she was the POA, she may not be able to use the money, little as it is, at this time, but once the principal passes away. I was told at the nursing home just about what was explained above, but it's difficult to get that across to the family member and not feel as if you're trying to keep money away from them and seemingly being mean. I just wish her the best in all this...it's never easy.
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In all practicality, I think the bank account is too low. I am always surprised at what needs paid for. The daughter is going to have to figure this out and she could be repaid, if money exists.
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First of all, what a generous and thoughtful friend that you are.
Considerations: is principal on Medicaid? The State has the right to reclaim monies spent on the principal's care. Terrible that daughter is struggling, but as DPOA you are obligated to spend money on principal's care, not his daughter's. If all the bills are settled and there is money left over to spend on her travel by the estate, that *should be* fine if she is the only beneficiary to will. If daughter is the executor of the estate and is traveling to where you are to settle the estate, that is one option AFTER principal passes. It really depends on who is principal's beneficiary is (if more than 1, how nasty will others be?), what the debts that principal currently has, and who you will be required to account for as DPOA. The legal obligations of DPOA have to be met with compassion unfortunately taking a second position to protect you and the principal.
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