Mom's beginning to exhibit dementia. When asked to give a durable POA she got paranoid and angry. Now what?


My mother thinks that my sister and I will take away all of her money and move her to a nursing home. Some days she is normal and lucid but more and more exhibiting confusion and paranoia. She is actually nicer to strangers than her own family. We fear she will become a victim or give away the family home and money to the yardman! what can we do? An attorney told us that getting guardianship through the courts is costly and a nightmare

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Yes, do explain that this is for the future when it is needed. There's no need to invest in an attorney to write these things up. You can find them online for free. I know the State of Wisconsin has one for sure. As for signing it, the folks and I just went into their bank and had it notarized, and they were willing to put me as a signor on their bank account. I assured them that I wouldn't use that unless they were in medical trouble and couldn't make decisions. These were some of the best moves we made because 3 months later, mom passed and dad with dementia had someone he could depend on.
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I hope you truly do have her best interest at heart, but you need to obtain a POA from the attorney. My parents had set up a Trust many years ago and then my father died. After about 5 years I realized my Mom was having a problem and I called an attorney to have him look over the Trust, update it and I wanted POA. He needed to speak to my mother alone and the conversation was taped as he had to make sure she still had the ability to understand what was happening. If their memory gets too bad you will not be able to obtain a POA as she will NOT be able to legally give it to you. Therefore you need to speak to her slowly and kindly and make her understand that the POA must be written up NOW but does not become effective until it is needed, down the road, when she becomes ill. Do not suggest to her that she is losing her mind and you need it NOW to take over her finances and home. You have got to be reliable and win her confidence. It sounds like you may have had a tough time in the past so this may be difficult but if you don't get it now you will have to go through guardianship, which is long, very difficult, and very costly!
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Agree with all you have written and attorney's assessment.

Regardless please make an appt with elder law attorney and get there with your mom as quickly as possible. Does your mom have an attorney she trusts? Is there a will currently? Is there a friend or family member she trusts other than you that could take her to see the attorney? Explain that she can meet with attorney privately and set things up as she wishes with safeguards.

My mom is increasingly paranoid and fearful of all the same things. Trust me, it gets worse and this is just the beginning. I have DPOA with my brother but it is a springing type (the worst POA you can have when a parent gets dementia --don't allow attorney to write this type). She needs DPOA with medical and financial assignment to the DPOA. She needs a will and advanced medical directive ASAP . I say this, because as her condition worsens or she loses her ability to make judgement, you won't be able to get her to get the POA and an attorney legally cannot draw one up for her if she is not lucid or of sound do this before it gets worse.

I used to worry about my moms finances or getting scammed, but frankly, she has dementia but won't relinquish any financial info. When she apwas in the hospital for a brief stay I was at least able to get some bank statements and set up an electronic account and a few automatic deposits and payees (like insurance, medical insurance, etc so they don't lapse). She doesn't understand it but at least we can monitor her checking and savings remotely and see any weird transactions. There haven't been any.

We live far away and she is on her own and doesn't want any outside help. We regretfully honor that, but it isn't easy and a constant worry. My mom has paperwork in order, but we have no copies, and she hides it constantly so it'll be a nightmare when we really have it. I managed a copy of the POA thank God but she insists I don't have one and I don't tell her that I took a copy from the house. She has dementia but is managing.

When I couldn't get a copy of the POA I too checked with attorney in elder law and they explained I could always take her to vcourt for guardianship, conservtorship etc but others warned me it was a nightmare with no good outcome and would be traumatizing for her and me. Not to mention abOut $20K which is ridiculous since I'm her only daughter and outside contact for her.

So get that paperwork done and good luck.
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