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My brother wants to have a durable power of attorney on my mothers financial affairs and wants me to have one on her medical affairs is that possible?

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I cared for both my parents on and off for 2 years took 2weeks off work returned to work and both parents went into hospital. siblings, nobody told me. found out on my own after 2 weeks & went to see them. Got mom out & brought her home @her request. Dad was to stay as my mom was in need of 24\7 care and so was my dad. siblings did not help just angry that mom was @home. I moved in and took care of her untill she went into hospital again and siblings had them both put into nursing home.I was with my mom everyday untill she passed away.Now my siblings told me to move and I cannot find a place. The house is not up for sale but they say they just want to sell it. I asked to stay untill house gets sold but they dont answer me& everything seems kind of shady. Is anyone going through this? Any ideas or suggestions?
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No, the Soc Sec office will not accept POA. You must go in person to your local SS office, and, someone else can correctly identify what the paperwork is, they have their own designation for a personal representative. But, if mom's SS check is already being auto-deposited into a checking account, just make sure that account stays operational, until she dies. And keep in mind she has to live thru the last day of the month to keep that month's check (if she dies the day before last day, i.e. Jan 30th, they will recoup the whole Jan check).
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thanks so much for you answers. we are 9 siblings but my mom is 86 and lives with me. she is on Alzheimer's medication. because we are so many we decided that whoever has mom will be POA. Do you know if a POA is accepted by th Social Security office and Medicaid and medicare.
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Make a written list of your legal requirements and make sure the lawyer knows that if all is not addressed they will not be paid until it has been. Don't rely on a "conversation" with a lawyer to do the complete job. If you come in with a list you'll probably add and/or subtract from it in the office. Make the changes on the spot and make a copy for yourself. Don't put up with sloppy work on the lawyer's part or relying solely on what you think you told him/her.
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Mallory, I am truly sorry that your family's experience with attorneys has been so frustrating. The situations you describe are not ones that I've seen, either incidentally or as a matter of practice. In fact typically the cases are handled in just the opposite way unless the matter is a significant, complex litigation.

I had to grin when you surmised that I was part of the "business model" of law firms. I did have to bill at least a specified number of hours monthly, but I was more like another cog in the wheel in that business model!

Law office business models have changed since the advent of computer technology, in one sense in that they now offer archives of newsletters and information to help clients and potential clients with self-education.

Generally the attorneys I worked with wanted to turn over projects quickly - assess what the situation is, what's needed, do it and get it done. Then move on to other new projects. The clients we had demanded that. No dragging projects out for weeks or months - there were deadlines to meet.

What you describe is close to what's known as "churning", when large complex matters are sometimes staffed by administrative people who do a lot of indexing and crossing indexing, for example, for large securities litigation, or class action suits, where there's a tremendous amount of data to organize and track.

If you were in Michigan, I'd take you to a few of the attorneys I deal with for our estate planning, and you wouldn't find that things are dragged out at all.

It's really unfortunate that your experiences with attorneys have been no unpleasant.
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And to add insult to injury, the last lawyer my mom had, STILL had not set things up adequately, according to mom's wishes!!! There were several crucial issues which she spoke about, with her lawyer, and I was there! and they neglected to put these things in writing!! And now as everyone knows, all that matters is what IS in writing. Anything that was simply talked about is gone. I tried to help mom, and was successful in getting some of her wishes reflected, in writing, but there are many others that never got the attention they needed. And now, my hands are tied and siblings are not happy. If the lawyer had actually DONE everything that mom had expressed she wanted, it would be a lot easier on me (or the successor Executor if I was no longer able to serve).
Mom is up in Heaven right now and she is reminding me , to keep the Big Picture in mind. This earth is really not our home. It is vitally important for people to get right with their Maker and get rid of anything which keeps them from loving one another. In your job, you have to do a good job, and be honest. It's just like kindergarten -- but somehow as adults we forget the most Basic courtesies and do sloppy work. It does come back to you, whatever you send out.....I hope the lawyers are listening.
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Gardenartist, i am speaking as a consumer who has hired about 6 lawyers/offices on my own, and watched (helplessly) as my parents waded thru all their lawyers, for their wills & POA documents. Since mom died, I have been looking thru her fireproof safe at over 25 years worth of lawyer bills. Mom kept every single transaction record. It is amazing how much was spent on each of these law offices, and I can see letters (without divulging the exact contents to the readers here) how the lawyers would address only partial issues at each visit, send a bill, and leave things undone for future visits (equals, future revenue).

In my opinion, knowing human nature, Lawyers have to keep the revenue coming--they rely on multiple visits to pay the rent in their bldg. Think of it in terms of a business model-- for a law office, they do not at all want to take care of everything on the first visit, oh no, that would mean less money from that client.

For example, there are notes, in which the supposed well-trained lawyer charges hours and hours of time to research how to qualify my dad for Medicaid..(once it was determined he would need to stay in NH)..when in actuality, he never ever would have qualified, due to his pension and assets. The lawyer should have answered that question gratis and said, no, of course not, and if you need further information consult with the Medicaid office, or your financial planner (both of whom have vastly different business structures, AND who would have answered mom's questions at NO COST, or as part of their regular yearly fees). But no, the lawyer charged his full professional rate to go research that! To me, that is just a hint of how lawyers are among the least trusted in society. And probably the reason much of our government is so dysfunctional -- a high percentage of politicians are lawyers.
So yes my opinions of lawyers may seem harsh, but if you have worked for law offices as you mention, you derived your livelihood from their business model, and probably insulated from the Big Picture.
Life will never be perfect, but certainly we can all have a good dose of common sense and learn from one another. As a middle class person I have no extra money to waste on lawyers who are unethical-- I am forced to seek law office support for my mom's estate but for my spouse and I, we will use the DIY forms, do our own research, and are already having deep discussions with our 3 kids on how to live your life self-sufficiently, with minimal reliance on those big-ticket items, which is what lawyers are for the middle-class folks.
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Mallory, what is your evidence for this statement, or is it based only on your experience with attorneys?

"And lawyers are notorious for forgetting, or intentially, neglecting to include some detail (in writing), and then charge you for another visit and to re-write the paperwork."

Intent is hard to prove, even if you're just expressing an opinion on a forum. And that's a pretty strong accusation you've made.

Attorneys do often have to change portions of documents, but in my experience in having worked for attorneys since the early 1960s, it's generally because the clients don't provide sufficient or reliable information. And in cases in which the matter is involving personal issues, whether they're estate or accident related, clients often don't understand that they need to focus on the issues to be addressed, not ancillary issues, personal feelings, anger and/or resentment. Oftentimes they want to burden the attorney with tales of family problems, complaints and other issues.

So sometimes it really is difficult to get adequate information from clients and changes need to be made. That's especially true when clients aren't even barely conversant in terms of the matter on which they've asked for legal assistance.

You've made some good points in your various comments. It doesn't seem characteristic of you to include such a broad, unsubstantiated criticism of attorneys.
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Another thing -- selecting your POA (s) is not a "once and done" thing. You can, and SHOULD, re-visit your selection every year, ask yourself if the POA still is free to help you, still lives close enough, etc. Just like all contracts, POA can be revoked (as long as you are mentally capable) but don't do a revocation by crossing out the name and putting a new one (a Revocation form gets sent to former POA and the new POA gets their brand-new, signed witnessed and notarized form).
I also want to share the other truth--if you're not happy with your law offices, or they retire (that happened to my mom) and you don't like the successor lawyer, get a different lawyer. All the paperwork you fill out (Will, Trust, POA, etc) is what matters-- anything you "talk about " with a lawyer is worthless when it comes to settling an estate, it all has to be in writing. And lawyers are notorious for forgetting, or intentially, neglecting to include some detail (in writing), and then charge you for another visit and to re-write the paperwork.
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I strongly agree with Mallory. The two issues, money and medical, go hand in hand. Splitting a POA at best would be cumbersome and at worst open to conflict and disagreements.
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After my experiences with siblings, I would never consider joint POA, and I would never consider any division between Financial and Medical. This only serves to drive a wedge between siblings....because 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, you never know what situation those dual POA's are going to be in. They could be eyeing the estate with a thought that, I really could use that money, and why would I want mom to "waste" it on a nice assisted living center? She is really not so bad off at home alone....Or the medical POA might decide, it is just a butt-load of work to do all this keeping track of mom's appointments, I am sick and tired of it (or, I have to take care of my own husband, I can't also take care of mom). So the medical POA wants to check mom into AL 10 years before she really needs it....but the financial POA doesn't think the money will last. Add to this, what if the med POA and fin POA are on opposite ends of the country? No way. It has to be 1 person, and it has to be someone who lives within an hour drive away, who is at least 30 years younger. Just my 2 cents.
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CWillie has an excellent point. I think an elder care attorney, who you should use to draw these up, could structure the POAs so that the medical POA could spend money on medical as long as the money was available.
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Cwillie, we do have a similar provision, providing that co-attorneys-in-fact can act individually or together, each with the authority to act on his/her own.
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I plan on having one daughter as financial because she is good with money. The other daughter is an RN so good with my medical. They work well together so no problem there. They will be alternates. Now, if I had kids that couldn't agree on anything, I wouldn't do this.
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Sure, but it's not that simple. What if you, as medical poa, determine that mom needs a walker, or her bathroom made accessible, or she needs to be placed into long term care, but brother with financial poa disagrees and won't advance the funds? You might think it would never happen but all too often it does. IMO it is best that whoever is doing the actual hands on caregiving has both poa's. The other sib can be named as an alternate or secondary if the first is unable to perform their duties.
(My mom's poa gives us the ability to act "jointly and severally", but I don't think that is commonly used in the USA)
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