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My dad has Alzheimer’s and has been in memory care since his spinal surgeries in Oct 2017. I am my dad’s DPOA for health and finance and Guardian ad Litem for his divorce that his wife filed. Still not finalized. I spoke with him about his wishes prior to his October 2017 surgery by filling out paperwork with him provided by the hospital. We didn’t realize at the time that it needed to be notarized. At that time all he would say regarding funeral arrangements was that he wanted to be buried in the military cemetery and if his sisters or I wanted to do anything more to do it. I did find VA paperwork saying that even though he doesn’t have enough points from the air force reserves for benefits, that they did approve a burial in a national cemetery. He had also told me the day before his surgery that he was furious to find out from divorce disclosures, in Feb 2017, that his wife of 43 years (not my mother) had previously taken out a “life insurance policy” on him before his heart surgery that was a few years prior. He said that he had recently canceled it and got his money back. Most recently I learned from the divorce lawyers that the “policy” he canceled, before his major surgery, was his “funeral arrangements.” His memory care facility is telling me that I should be making funeral arrangements for him now. As DPOA can I make funeral arrangements? Should I bring his sisters with me? They are devout practicing Catholics. My dad, my family and I are Catholic but don’t attend church.

It is not hard to preplan, prepay and prearrange for a funeral. Contact the funeral home of your choice and set up an appointment, they will walk you through the process.

For the Church side of things, call the office and ask about making an appointment. For this, you will likely want your sisters involved considering their devotion. You can plan the order of service, the hymns, prayers etc with the Priest. Does the church do the funeral tea? You may not be able to prepay for these services, but you can ask. Mum's church does not charge a fee for preforming a funeral, but there is a custodian fee, and you pay the organist too.
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Qwerty Apr 14, 2019
I was referring to my dad’s sisters. My Aunts. It’s just my brother and I. However, my brother isn’t interested in helping me with anything.
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Your answer is yes, DPOA can make those arrangements, and even pre-pay from his funds.  It is allowed.  I did it with a friend who had been through it before.  We went to a local funeral home and got the info we needed.  I wanted my aunt's body taken from the NH when she died, cremation arranged, ashes in a disposable box (for dispersing ashes, as per aunt's request, off of same mountain as her husbands were.  Then a plaque put next to her husband's.  I asked what else, and he said they offered a website for friends to leave comments, obituary in a paper  and on website, and he helped me write it.(revised a few days later by me and emailed) He also gets a few death certificates. Brother or I will see about the plaque.  Maybe from Army?  She was WWII Nurses Corps.

We are having a quiet family service at the cemetery in another state, and I'll take care of the ashes when the road to the top is open and snow all gone.  The more they do, the more the cost.  She has outlived her friends, so I see no need for a service.  The excellent reason to pre-pay and arrange things, is you do it without the emotions of death and loss, and confusion.  I told family that could drive and wanted some closure, and one disagreed with something.  Luckily Aunt Rose had expressed her wishes in one of those notarized papers we gave to NH about end-of -life stuff.  Sorry, I am still reeling from 2 back-to-back family deaths the end of March, and confused even about what to eat! My aunt got Pneumonia suddenly, and died just 9 days after I prepaid.  I was with her, and had the funeral home # for nurse to call. 

Catholic church accepts cremation now, but someone else will have to explain that.  My Dad was WWII, wanted a funeral, and a few that were still left alive in the area Pearl Harbor Survivors came into the church to play taps.  I cried, and do not know what else they did. It was all prearranged by Mum and Dad. Hugs!  It's not easy, and plan ahead helps a lot.  Bring a friend.
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GrannieAnnie Apr 14, 2019
PS that purple mountain in middle of my name circle is the one we go up.
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I'll take this moment to mention that when my father was planning this, he was advised by one of his brothers to get a dozen copies of the death certificate, because it is easier and less expensive to get them the first time than to go back later for more. If you have accounts, etc. that require proof of death, these will come in very handy.
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Qwerty Apr 18, 2019
Thank you. Great advice. Good to know.
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I don't know if This will help. I used a business named Inland Memorial service for my mom. They picked her up,cremated her and I picked up the cremains. Get it, cremains cremated-remains. They are inexpensive but got the job done. I prepaid my cremation also.
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 17, 2019
Did not prepay for my brother. I arranged with funeral home. I don’t know who else does it here.

Something to research though.
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I found this information on website:
https://theprobatepro.com/what-is-a-guardian-ad-litem/
"The court appoints the Guardian ad Litem to gather information about the administration of the estate, to protect legally incapacitated individuals, and to represent minors in all sorts of probate proceedings...
It is important to contact an experienced probate attorney immediately if the probate court appoints a Guardian ad Litem."

I am wondering if your court-appointed Guardian ad Litem for his divorce might carry over after your Dad dies if the divorce has not been finalized.  Maybe you can check with your attorney about your responsibilities as your Dad's Guardian ad Litem at the time of his death.
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Qwerty Apr 15, 2019
Thank you!
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I have DPOA and I made dads arrangements and pre paid before his funds were drained from the AL & MC facility.
He is still alive but it’s one thing I don’t have to worry about. There are dozens of other things when you’re the caregiver.
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Qwerty May 2, 2019
I agree with you and that’s why I’m trying to plan ahead. Unfortunately the divorce has complicated the most simple of task.
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Not sure what paperwork the hospital gave him. But what he wants for a funeral does not have to be notarized. He told you, thats enough.

My in laws are in a National cemetary. For the one they are in you must be cremated but I have been told not all require that. When ur buried in a NC the plot, plaque, and the burial are free. You pay for the funeral homes services. Either cremation or getting the body ready for burial. If you want a viewing or service, that is at your expense. The service the Military supplies is really nice and we went with that with a nice luncheon after.

To be in the reserves, your Dad had to have been in the service. As such, he should qualify for a plot in a County VA cemetery. Unlike a NC, I think you pay for the plot to be open. Not sure if the plot is free but the plaque is. He will get a ceremony by the Military rep too. These are all questions to ask the funeral director.

I can't understand how if wife had an insurance policy on him how he was able to cancel it. I would think she had been paying premiums, then only she could cancel it.
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Qwerty Apr 14, 2019
Thank you for sharing your knowledge. That really helped me.
and
Apparently, his wife forged his signature and yes, he was able to cancel it. She was furious because apparently she had been secretly paying premiums.
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If he is going to be cremated, I would not use a funeral home. They charge 100s of extra dollars and the crematorium does all the work. Save their profit and have a lunch with family instead.

You absolutely can handle everything, I would ask the court about her being involved during a divorce she initiated. I don't think she will be considered next of kin at this point. But a letter to the judge will clarify this and give you peace of mind.

Wow, what a lot you have on your plate. Big hugs!
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NeedHelpWithMom Apr 17, 2019
So. how do you arrange for cremation without the funeral home? They sent my brother’s body to funeral home after he died in hospice, he was cremated and I picked up cremains to be buried in our family plot and have the graveside service.

Can you explain any other options please, isthisreallyreal? Thanks, appreciate it.
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Qwerty: I'll answer the question - "Can you - the DPOA - make funeral arrangements?" The answer is yes. My daughter's FIL, who was not of sound mind at the end of his rather early demise at 66, "un"executed life insurance policies - making them NULL AND VOID. His widow was left without this knowledge and had to jump through the literal hoop in an attempt to correct his misdeeds. Lesson to be learned and a moot point - too late in both of these cases - a person not of lucid mind should not be allowed to amend any financial documents! In hindsight, it's a wonder that his "funeral money" was refunded at all.
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Thank you all for your helpful and informative advice. I checked in with the divorce attorney and as I suspected, since they are still legally married, we have to notify opposing counsel in writing so that there is compliance with the ATROs. Extraordinary expenses require that the notice be provided in writing at least 5 days prior to incurring the expense. I was also reminded that when my dad passes that DPOA ends but GAL continues. Although, opposing counsel has not provided the most current copy of trust and will yet, I believe I am listed as executor as well. Making sure my dad is well cared for, and not taken advantage of, has proved to be a larger task than ever expected. However, your questions, comments and shared experiences have helped me know what to expect and how to move forward. You’ve all given me the strength and encouragement to continue doing my very best for my dad while taking care of myself too.
Thank you.
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