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My father had multiple strokes and cannot communicate or care for himself. Before this he made my Mother primary medical power of attorney and my brother secondary medical power of attorney. He made my Brother sole legal power of attorney. He is in a long term care facility in Arizona where my brother and sister live and my brother needs help with things such as dealing with insurance companies and paying bills that he just doesn't have adequate time to do all on his own. He wishes to make my sister co-legal power of attorney but thinks my father would have to sign a new POA. Since my father is unable to communicate he obviously cannot do this. Is there any way my brother can get this done with maybe medical documentation stating my fathers medical status and inability to act on his own behalf? My brother really needs the help, it's just too much for one person to handle. Also my Mother lives in Ohio and isn't really involved in his care or decisions being made. She verbally agreed to let my brother make decisions.

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No. Only your father can "appoint" someone as his POA. He alone is the donor.
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Neither Countrymouse nor I wish to offend you, so sorry. We both offer the facts. Only the patient can appoint a POA and only if he has full mental capacity. Your father, unfortunately, is past that point. The law then states that the courts must make any changes at this juncture. If you don't believe us, ask an Arizona attorney.
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Oh and Country Mouse....No my brother CAN'T take off a week from work. He is mortgaged to the hilt and has cashed in EVERYTHING including leave from work to pay for my Fathers cancer treatments and medical flight from Ohio to Arizona. Don't judge so hastily. You've no idea what peoples circumstances are.
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Thanks for all the great replies everyone. Well the POA doesnt have anything about a successor, but believe me my brother is very capable but also going through a LOT right now. And it is very time consuming especially when you work way more than 8 hrs a day and circumstances are such and your work position is of such importance that you cant get away. I deal with insurance companies ever day and they will not give info or make any changes to coverage for ANY unauthorized person, ie, a medical provider or the POA or subscriber themselves. i also know thru my work with insurance companies that you can be on the phone forever and a day getting things straightened out. Were not only talking about the time constraint but the emotional devestation of having a very well loved parent in a persistant vegitative state. My Father chose my Brother and chose well, but anyone who has been in this position can tell you....the toll it takes being POA is huge in certain circumstances. It just so happens that my sister is an amazingly caring and capable person as well and is in a position to be able to do much of the things my brother has a difficult time getting to. So to those who judge my Father's wisdom in choosing my brother as POA shame on you. Everyones circumstances are unique and you dont have to be a "Donald Trump" to make it a difficult row to hoe for your POA if you become incapacitated.
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What does the POA document say about Successor POA?
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Couldn't sister just help him out by making the calls and taking care of letters and brother just lets the companies know it is okay to speak to her? With my mother before I had POA and after my father died, I was able to call and take care of a lot of business on my mother's behalf and no one ever questioned it. A couple of times a company would just ask to speak to Mom to get her approval to speak to me and that was all that was needed. Now that I have DPOA it seems like red flags go up everywhere and it is actually harder to deal with people and businesses. I do have to say this is more time consuming than I could have EVER imagined!!!
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It is time consuming. My husband is POA over his mother and between bill payments, medical insurance claims, working with attorney, doctors, every other day visits to check on mom to be sure she does not need anything, making sure she is taken care of. Visits are at different times so that the nursing home is on their toes, just a lot of work. He has asked me to help him and I could not see him doing it all alone. Just when I think things are calming down, something happens medically and we busy dealing with her dr, hospital, bills, etc.
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Your mother can appoint your brother as main Power of Attorney; he can then appoint your other brother as secondary Power of Attorney. I just found this out because I am my Mom's Power of Attorney. I have health issues and it is difficult sometimes to pay bills, etc., but there is NO WAY I want my brother to be allowed to be a Power of Attorney. I'm looking into it to see if our bookkeeper can do it. Good luck. I know the stress is hard because you don't know who to ask (check into an elder attorney. Call you local Bar Association & they can refer you to one for about $40 for 1/2 hour). Have your questions ready when you go. Once you get your answer, I hope it will be a bit easier. Everything is on my shoulders. I have a lot of resentment towards my brother because if it were possible, he'd be doing less than 0%. But when my Mom passes, he'll have his hand out for any money left to him. Lack of character & compassion infuriate me.
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Dr Chris

1. That's about 3 hours a day. Not nothing, of course, but not what you'd call unfindable.
2. Once you're done, you're done.
3. It sounds as if things got complicated.
4. Gosh, I hope they weren't YOUR attorneys - 100 emails x $ how much for reading them??? (or what they're pleased to call reading them. In my experience, "reading" is a loosely applied term. "Logging for the purpose of billing for 'perusing'" is often more like it.)
5. Good for you, seizing the opportunity to thank and appreciate your wife :)
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Countrymouse,
The administrative burden can be just that. I am an only child taking care of my mother's affairs. At first it was not overly onerous, but once we began the process of getting her into a nursing home and applying for Medicaid, it became near to a fulltime job. Over the past year or so, I have logged in over 1,000 hours, writing letters, contacting banks, brokers, insurance companies. lawyers. I have a folder of over 100 emails I have sent to attorneys. I would have been very appreciative of someone to help. Thank God for my wonderful wife who has supported me throughout this ordeal.
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Just think: If a P.O.A. could be changed, added to, or deleted AFTER the donor becomes incapacitated, then what good is it? The whole idea of having a P.O.A. is to allow someone else act on your behalf if it becomes necessary when you are no longer able to make decisions.
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Verbal agreements from Mom carry no weight in court. Brother agreed to be POA and he cannot give that to anyone. Your option is to sit down with an attorney and pay big fees to rearrange this with permission of the court, or tell Bro to do his job.
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To my knowledge, a person with POA could no more execute a codicil to that document than he could a codicil to the father's will.
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No. Only the donor can appoint a P.O.A.
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Then if mom is in agreement, have her sign an affidavit, and have your brother just appoint his sister. Since he is in charge, he can direct whomever he needs to in order to get the job done. Make a codicil to the original POA document just stating the co-power goes to the sister and have your brother sign it. Have it notarized and you are done.
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If your father can't communicate I can't see how he could set up a new POA for your sister. And no your brother cannot in his capacity as POA appoint a new second POA (although he can, as Lynn points out, allow someone else to act as his agent).

That doesn't mean your sister can't do a lot of the secretarial legwork for him (if she feels so inclined - it's extremely nice of her to offer). He should, I think, be able to give insurance companies, banks and so on authorisation to discuss your father's affairs with her; but she can't sign off on anything.

To be honest, just how time-consuming can one individual's administrative burden be? I'm assuming that your Dad isn't Bill Gates or somebody, or he'd have an army of professionals doing all this for him. If there is a lot of stuff that needs sorting out up front, such as insurance claims, he should take a week's leave to break the back of it, and set up systems for bill paying so that matters pretty much take care of themselves thereafter. And if he really can't manage even that, or something like it, then the question is why he accepted POA in the first place - not, I admit, that that helps.
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If a physician has not determined that your father is incompetent to make his own decisions, he should execute a new POA. Conversely, if your father has been determined incompetent, under a general POA your brother should be able to authorize an additional person to act as his agent in dealing with insurance companies, etc. The other alternative is to petition a court for guardianship/conservatorship and the court would appoint one or more individuals to act on your father's behalf.
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