Anyone have experience with reverse mortgage and letter of competency?

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RM wants me to submit 4 things in order to take over my mom’s transactions regarding her reverse mortgage when I told them I am my mom’s POA.
1. Copy of Power of Attorney for finance.

2. Copy of my signed signture that has to be notorized.

3. Copy of my drivers license.

4. Letter from my mom’s doctor stating she’s not able to make decisions for herself (she does have dementia)
OR
They need to speak to her directly.

Hoping the doctor words it good enough to convince the rm that I need to take over.

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Hangingon, woah woah woah.

Your mother has a dementia diagnosis. That is not at all the same thing as a declaration of incompetence.

Without its having been formally found that your mother is incompetent you do not have the authority to sell her home. You cannot make these decisions without her informed consent.

To be able to deal with the RM company, you can ask your mother to state to them that you have her permission to use your POA to manage her account. You can call them from the NH with her present and hand her the phone. If they need her consent in writing, you can draft and print a basic letter -

I am writing to give my permission for my daughter, [your name], to operate my account number xxxxxxxxx on my behalf,

- for example.

But the question of her competence, and the stage of her dementia, really does matter ethically as well as legally.

Don't talk to the administrator, make an appointment to speak to your mother's doctor either in person or on the phone. You need to get this situation nailed down. Is she competent or isn't she? Your wanting to take the burden off her hands, protect her possessions and keep the RM company at bay does NOT make it okay to go right ahead without being sure of this point.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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To underline what Rosses just said:

If your mother is competent, you CANNOT sell her house without her informed consent. Ask the NH if they can recommend a financial adviser who can go through the paperwork with both of you in a calm, professional way.

If your mother is not competent, you can use your POA to make decisions on her behalf and there will be need to distress her with detailed explanations.

You MUST get this point resolved first.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hangingon, are you intentionally ignoring the question of your mother's competence?

If your mother is competent, you have to give her the information. She makes the decisions.

If your mother is not competent, you can act for her without her permission and you need share with her only information that you believe she can process easily.

Until you have sorted out this one key point, you cannot make progress on anything.

Stop visualising your mother's reaction, stop imagining the worst, stop reading old newspapers. Get the competence issue determined first. If you don't know how, get advice from your mother's social worker or doctor.

Your fear is indeed very great, and please don't think we don't understand how horrible what you're going through is. What everyone's trying to tell you is that there will be ways forward to the situation you want: your mother's house efficiently cleared, the RM squared away, your mother safe and well cared for, you armed with strategies and support to help you deal with her determination to "go home."
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Hangingon - I can see you are so overwhelmed with everything.

You do have A LOT on your plate: your mom, RM, legal issues, POA, your job, your health, NH, money, cleaning out the house, selling things. etc. OMG - anyone would be overwhelmed.

Please take a breather. Step back. Everything can wait a while.

First thing first. Your health. Do what you need to do or not do so that you can be calm and yourself again. If you fall sick, then what. I recommend yoga, meditation, walking, sleeping, or listening to music, or anything else that will help you relax.

When you're feeling better, then you can see to your mom's needs. It seems that she can use some (more) meds to calm her down. You know your mom best and you can advocate for her needs.

As for your mom's house, if the value is really less than the amount owed, then it is a moot point to spin your tail and worry yourself sick. That said, I think the rehabbers probably gave you low ball figures. A more reliable source might be a real estate agent. He/she can run some comps (comparable sales) in your neighborhood and can tell you what similiar houses near by are selling for. The agent should not charge for this service. You don't want an appraisal because that would cost money.

One thing at a time. One day at a time. You have a lot of good advice here from everyone. When you're ready, you can reread the posts with a clearer head.

(((Hugs)))
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Reply to polarbear
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Good luck. I don't see a question.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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First, I’m glad the situation changed from what it was before. I understand it’s very stressful but seems more manageable and more reasonable now that she’s not at home and you both aren’t running around an unhealthy circle.

Second, your answer seems to dismiss an important point. Is your mother really unable to make her own decisions? Having dementia does not necessarily equates that. It is crucial to establish that. Save yourself a lot of problems, establish your mom’s competency.

Third, if she is competent she needs to decide, with you, to sell her house and what to do with her finances. If you tell any competent person..with dementia but competent, that you’re selling her house, doing an state sale, etc, etc..that’s enough to make someone sick, and to think you’re taking advantage of her absence. Do things right, so you don’t find yourself in deeper problems later on.
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Reply to Rosses003
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Hi Hangingon,

I agree with Rosses003 and polarbear -- I think it's a good idea to take a step back for a little bit and just take a breather.

It is so hard to absorb information coming from all directions, esp. when you are super stressed. It's also really hard to make good decisions for yourself when you have that much anxiety and are exhausted. Try to get yourself calmed down to the point where you can take a step back and think about things without sending yourself into panic-mode.

A book that might help is "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Dr. Claire Weeks. It's an older book but I believe it's still in print. It's low-key, easy to read, and I've found it helpful in the past. There are a ton of good books on managing anxiety and also CDs you can get from the library (or even youtube videos) for relaxation. Hopefully the weather is getting better to get outside and get a little fresh air. Those things will not fix your problems but they might allow you to catch your breath and give you a little space to prioritize what you can deal with.

There are people who post regularly on here who have big families, financial security, and much more run-of-the-mill problems and they still freak out. My grandpa was poor but he did not have the health issues your mom has and was relatively easy-going, but it was still overwhelming and depressing dealing with issues that arose. Do not feel bad for feeling overwhelmed and having a lot of conflicted feelings. You are handling things a lot better than you think, and have endured more than many of would without having a breakdown. You will be ok, but don't underestimate what you've been through. You've done so much to try to respect your mom's choices while coping with the difficult reality of the situation. That can actually be very traumatic and it does take a lot of introspection and emotional work sometimes to be able to focus on your own priorities and well-being again.

I'm really glad your cousin was there to talk with you and help sort through things! I hope you are doing ok.
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Reply to lindylu
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Hangingon-

You will have to lie to your mom. There is no other way. Here are my suggested answers to your mom's questions.

Mom: “I wanna go home”??
You: I know you do, and I do, too. I want you to go home, too.

Mom: “why are they keeping me here?”.
You: You develop (name some medical conditions she has) and the doctors have to keep you here to treat you.

Mom: “Am I gonna die here?”
You: No mom. You are here to get better.

It is heart breaking to hear those questions and know the real answers, yet have to lie to her. I am so sorry Hangingon.
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Reply to polarbear
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Hangingon, who did your POA document? Call them and ask what you do about the competency issue.

When your mother asks "why are they keeping me here?" quote verbatim what it says on her rehab admission form. Don't elaborate, except to state that until those issues are out of the way this is where she needs to be.

"Am I going to die here?" - you can truthfully say "I hope not, but we need you to have good nursing care, that's why you're here."

And ask questions. Is there anything she would like? Is there anyone she'd like to speak to? Is there anything you can do for her?

If the response to question 3 is a pitiful "yes, take me home!" give her a hug in response.

You don't have to agree with a person to be kind to her, you know.

You also don't have to take this full-time. When your strength begins to give out, take a break.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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How are they treating her anxiety, Hanging, which has been over the top for a long time? Have you been told by her doctors not to give her bad or worrying news, that it might exacerbate her condition? Or is this a leftover fear from childhood "don't bother me with the truth, if you do, I might have a heart attack and die and then where would YOU be?"

I know a bit about this sort of manipulation as it was a frequent feature of my childhood, and I suspect, many others. It's a method of controlling children's behavior.

Don't fall for it.

Talk directly to the doctor about whether your mom is incompetent or not. Talk to her/him about how to treat mom's anxiety and other mental illnesses. And about how you can discuss her business affairs with her.

Get a geriatric psychiatrist involved if necessary. Most NH/LTC facilities have someone, if not on staff, then someone who visits frequently.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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