When is the best time to get power of attorney?

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I've had to cancel her credit cards and do several change of addresses, and each time they tell me I can't do it without POA. She is still mentally competent, but having a difficult time writing, and doesn't like making phone calls.

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You asked when is the best time to get a Power of Attorney.... when one turns 18, along with a health care proxy.

brdlvr1, as long as your Mom can still understand a Power of Attorney document, might as well get all the other legal documents that one usually has. And while you are at the Elder Law Attorney's office, you also get a Power of Attorney and other documents for yourself.

I never liked the idea of printing off a blank Power of Attorney and filling it out. All it takes is one missed word or one incorrect word, it could become a nightmare.
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NOW you get a DPOA, Health Care Proxy and Advanced Directives. NOW
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Also consider a secondary person as POA. For my aunt I insisted on having a second person listed should I not be able to perform chores for her. At 68 the second person had a heart attack and died. We had to have it signed again with another secondary. Thankfully she was still able to sign. Some attorneys have packages that include medical, will and DPOA and will make changes as needed. I try to review annually on her bd for any needed changes. You can also print one out for your state and take it to your attorney for their review. Could be cheaper than having layer prepare it from scratch but again this document is too important to leave to chance.
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I would be cautious of printing one off, because it may not meet the rules for your jurisdiction. It's not that expensive. I'd get legal advice. If you rely on it and it turns out to have problems, then it may be too late to get a new one.
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ASAP. Get a Durable Power of Atty which covers financial and medical. In my state, Adult Social Services told me that I didn't even have to go through a lawyer as long as my mother had not been declared incompetent. She said to print off a form (plenty of free ones out there) fill it out, get it notarized and go to the Clerk of Court to get it filed. Simple. Way cheaper than an atty. Hope that helps!
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Now would be a good time. Take her to a lawyer or some lawyers will come to bome. Get it done as long as mom agrees.
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