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We want to help manage his finances and property.

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From FreeAdvice.com (although it does not specify in this paragraph, this is referring to a DURABLE POA. Non durable POA is usually temporary and limited, and most certainly ENDS when incapacitation occurs if not earlier):

"A power of attorney does not take effect until the principal is considered legally incapacitated. There are two forms of incapacitation that can result in the power of attorney taking effect. The first is physical incapacitation. For instance, the person enters into a coma or has a stroke making communication impossible. At this point, the power of attorney takes over. The second reason is mental incapacitation. This is where a mental disease destroys the principal’s ability to rationally make decisions or the person becomes legally insane."

From AgingCare.com (THIS website and again what they are describing is DPOA):

"There are two types of power of attorney:

POA for healthcare: Gives a designated person the authority to make health care decisions on behalf of the person.

POA for finances: Gives a designated person the authority to make legal/financial decisions on behalf of the person.

Families should prepare these legal documents long before someone starts having trouble handling certain aspects of life. At the time of the signing, the elderly person establishing a durable power of attorney must be capable of deciding to seek assistance. For example, people in late stages of Alzheimer's disease may not be "of sound mind" and therefore unable to appoint a POA

Like a trust, a durable power of attorney can be written so that the transfer of responsibilities occurs immediately. Or, the POA can state that the POA goes into effect when your elderly parent becomes incapacitated. Until that point, the elder can choose to continue to make decisions on his/her own."

So to you NAYSAYERS (you know who you are and you need to stop spewing your own vitriol about this), these are VERY important documents that everyone SHOULD have drawn up. They DO NOT take away ANYTHING that you currently do/have (unless you specifically state exceptions) and will NOT interfere with your affairs in any way UNTIL you are deemed incapacitated. If you never become incapacitated, then it will NEVER take effect, simple as that. If you are competent and capable to the day you die, no problemo, no DPOA. Without these documents in place, if something untoward happens, you are in legal, financial and possibly medical limbo. NO one can do anything to help you until the courts approve everything (Guardian/Stewardship).

Leaving a defenseless person to the wiles of unscrupulous people is WHY you see many people taken advantage of (someone even in the early stages of dementia can be easily "swayed" or convinced they need this done by that person). Do DPOAs sometimes abuse their "power"? Certainly it happens, however if you choose wisely, and perhaps assign different roles to different people if you are not totally sure, then they can "oversee" each other. MOST of the time there are no issues. Despite reading what some post here about suspecting that another family member is abusing the DPOA, these should not be considered the rule, and suspicions are not facts.

Our documents for mom were updated in 2006 and were NOT invoked in any way, shape or form until she began messing up her finances. Only her bill payments were "taken away", to ensure they were paid on time and correctly. NO payments to any of us were made for this "duty". She remained living in her own home (we did have to remove the car, for her safety and for the safety of others), doing her "own thing", until we deemed it necessary for her to move to a safe place (she refused to move in with either brother, I chose not to offer because I know I cannot do it). Almost too late... she injured her leg but did not have enough sense to have it checked or tell one of us. Just before we moved her (and it delayed the move by several days), she developed cellulitis because of the injury, which is very dangerous even for us "not so old" oldsters - she just turned 94 - and it can be deadly.

Assigning that DPOA to someone (or multiple people) you know and trust, whether it is a family member, friend or attorney when you are competent ensures that someone will be there to step in/up when you cannot perform financial duties or handle your other affairs - it also ensures someone you know and trust is assigned this duty, so it will not be left open for someone who IS going to take advantage of you.

Despite setting up bill payer and all that happy doo doo, you will NOT have anyone in place to take care of anything needed IF something happens to you, be it physical or mental until the court process of gaining guardianship and stewardship completes (this is a lengthy process, is expensive and continues to be in control, requiring additional time and effort if not MORE expense, to comply with court rules.)

If you are incapacitated (and not likely to recover your previous abilities), Bill payer will not apply for Medicaid. Bill payer will not be able to sign your medical (or ANY other) paperwork. Bill payer will not pay for your medical co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions. Bill payer will not pay for infrequent items that are not on your schedule. Bill payer cannot sign you into a care facility or pay for it. Bill payer cannot sell or rent your home. If you have an apartment, bill payer cannot cancel your lease, move your things or pay your rent increase. Bill payer cannot sell your car, nor cancel the registration or insurance. Bill payer will not be able to start NEW payments that might be needed or adjust those in place already or halt those that need to be terminated. Bill payer will NOT be able to freeze or cancel your credit cards, leaving them open to fraud that no one will know about because Bill payer will not be monitoring them. If you happen to die along the way, bill payer will NOT pay for any funeral expenses. *NOTE: When saying BP cannot sell your home or car, these sales just MIGHT be necessary to help pay for your care, especially if you have dementia and in particular if you make too much to qualify for Medicaid - those assets from the sale might make the difference between living in a marginal facility and a nice one (nice = more than just nice looking).

If you do not have these documents already in place and someone does take advantage of you when you are no longer competent to understand that, it is going to take a lot of time, a big effort and lots of moola to fight that person and undo it all (if it is even possible), as you the naysayer is now finding out. Although it can cost a couple thousand or so to draw up all the documents correctly with a Elder Care attorney, it is not a long drawn out affair and guarantees some piece of mind. If your loved one had chosen to assign YOU before this all happened, then all this would not have happened... PLEASE stop - it is one thing to warn others about unscrupulous people who might take advantage of someone, it is something completely different to keep bashing a legitimate LEGAL process that can save time, money and sanity IF it is done up properly in a timely manner.
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Some elderly people can be very reluctant to sign. My friend's family is very worried, because her dad is worth over $20 million.
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Ask your dad if in case something happens would you mind writing down all investment names, contract #, contact # & name & beneficiary s. This will sure make things simple for we kids. Tell him you would be willing to help if he would like. You might also get him to to record everything he pays for the year..may get him to thinking what involvement could be for his kids in case. Might suggest record place of all important papers like car & property titles. Ask would it be of interest to somehow to protect his properties & investments by talking to an attorney then the attorney can make other suggestments like review wills, DPOA, Med POA etc. His suggestion not yours. Might work....
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We put DPOA and Medical POA in place in case there was a time they were injured/hospitalized/incapacitated and their bills still needed to be paid or medical decisions needed to be made. It was just logical.

You should have it in place in case of emergency. Having said that, if father is of sound mind and responsible, let him run his own affairs. Being old does not mean you are no longer intelligent and in control. So if things are running fine, back off. But get the papers in place in the event that you ever do actually become needed. POA does not Take away his right to run his affairs. Dad is still the person in charge, it just gives you the ability to manage things should it become necessary.
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DPOA is what you want as POA is generally temporary and incomplete and is no longer effective when a person is deemed incompetent. DPOA ONLY gets invoked when the principal is no longer able to take care of their affairs (financial and other issues).

cetude - There was no mention of the person needing care at this time. Even if there was, without DPOA HOW will the family take care of the financials????

corinna - if you wait until the person cannot perform these duties, you CANNOT get DPOA, you must petition the courts for guardianship and stewardship. That petitioning is time-consuming and expensive, both before, during and after. DPOA is the MUCH better route to go.

To OP - What is your father's reasoning for balking at this? If he does not fully understand what DPOA is, and how specific it can be designed, perhaps taking your father to an attorney, allowing him/her to explain the process without any of you being present might convince him. Another suggestion is to print up various online posts that explain what this is AND provide the information about what occurs when one does not have DPOA but the person is deemed incompetent. If he still has his wits about him, understanding the negatives in going the court method might help sway him. He should also be fully aware that DPOA does not come into play until he is deemed incompetent. I took over mom's accounts and payments using the DPOA, but she had not formally been declared incompetent in any way. The account was easy enough because we children were already listed on the account. All creditors were easy enough to deal with in changing the address so I could make the payments was a snap with this paperwork. The only entities that will not under any circumstances recognize the DPOA are federal (IRS, SS, Medicare, and pension) - they all have their own method and/or forms (others have complained that banks balk, but in the end they really must work with you because it IS a legal document).

Just reading through many of the questions and posts on this site highlights the fact that most people do not fully understand what POA and DPOA are, and how they are used. Getting him to understand this all might help.
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Just because your dad is old doesn't necessarily mean he can't manage his own affairs. If he's competent and already said no, you really need to drop it! My bio dad with Alzheimer's had a POA who turned out to be a fraudster. It's his story I'm carrying and it's things like this that inspires me to speak on behalf of the most vulnerable. It's what I'm going through now that drives me to advocate for people who need a voice and someone to advocate for them against people who are trying to override someone's free will if they've already said no and don't need you. No means no, no doesn't mean yes or to keep at it until I say yes. It's situations like that is exactly why I must now advocate for others without a voice and others who are trying to still maintain their own affairs as long as they're competent. I'm speaking both for the aged competent and the incompetent as well as others with disabilities regardless of age. Yes, I'm standing up for your dad on this one. As long as he's competent and still able to pay the bills, cover his needs and not spend himself broke, you need to stop pressuring him to sign POA over to you because this is exactly what gets people robbed every day. Elder financial abuse is more common than people realize. Look at the numbers, elders lose millions  including assets each year to people who took over their financial affairs, just because they chose to trust someone else to handle their money. You may just as well have put your wallet by an open downstairs window on a busy street and hope no one takes it, that's just what POA is when you give access to your money and assets. I think your dad is a whole lot more knowledgeable than you give him credit for. Elders are often smarter than we think and we really need to keep our hands out of their money as long as they can still take care of their own money and assets. Your dad has already said no to POA. Again, no means no, no don't mean yes or pressure me until I give in. Doing so will only drive a wedge between you and your dad. Back off and let him be if he's already said no. I know what I'm talking about because I'm dealing with the aftermath of elder financial fraud that involved assets and a very clever fraudster who could be targeting someone else. Your dad has every right to manage his own affairs and make his own decisions as long as he's competent and able to do so and you really need to stay out of it if he already said no. Hopefully he's put specific protections in place to protect himself  from anyone who would come in and undo what he's already put in place. He's already said no, good for him! Now leave him alone and I speak on behalf of everyone else like him still managing their own affairs as long as they are still competent and able to do so. As long as the bills are being paid and he's not spending himself broke, you should not be going for POA or anything else. As long as he's feeding himself and taking care of his own needs, he doesn't need help from someone who could take advantage of him. I saw the aftermath of that very thing that  leaves fraudsters to benefit from the elder. This is more common than you may realize and as long as he can manage his own affairs, leave him be. Just because he's old doesn't necessarily mean he's incapable. I  knew someone years ago who ran a 16 acre horse farm all by himself. Eventually he did get some part-time help but he also cooked for himself and maintained a garden as well as did all the shopping and driving. He happened to be a World War II veteran who was also retired from his local steel mill. Besides the horse farm, he also did part-time flea marketing and horse auctions. Again, just because someone's old doesn't necessarily mean they're incapable of managing their own affairs. This person was my inspiration to take the precautions I later put in place to protect myself as I age. No one, and I say absolutely no one will come in on me and take over my money or assets. I don't need a financial POA or representative payee the way I have everything set up and operating. I think you should follow what I've been instructing others to do to protect themselves because it's my bio dad's misfortune that drives me even further into  urging others to protect their own money and finances. What I described is exactly what I do and no one will ever touch my money. Depending on how well you have things set up will depend on whether or not you can successfully keep fraudsters away. When they realize they can't get nothing from you, they'll move on
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You don't unless a doctor has confirmed he is in need to help.
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I have found that elders are often fearful of giving up power to control their lives. I've worked in geriatric care over 20 years, and especially aging men resist changes that are necessary to ensure their care needs. AND - adult children are often the the worst who should be talking to their parent about this. Our parents, no matter what age, still regard adult children as just that - children - who are not to be telling their parent what to do. I often ask the family, who does your mother/father trust most? Perhaps a minister, a life long friend... and I find that mothers usually trust a son rather than a daughter, men usually prefer a daughter. If the parent already has cognitive loss, you will need to consult with an attorney for advisement.
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Please have your family go through a lawyer or mediator. POA, Durable Medical and Executor positions should not be filled by multiple siblings! Our lawyer advised my parents that only one child should be assigned to each one of the duties with others assigned as successors in a specified order. Typically the POA should be an individual who lives closest to the parent and is responsible, trustworthy and able to get to the parent as quickly as possible should the need arise. Hideous sibling disagreements, misunderstandings, jealousy, and greed can suddenly surface when a parent becomes incompetent.
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A Power of Attorney has to be done when they are completely "with it" -- once they are incompetent it takes a court order. A caregiver is a thankless job and if you have siblings they think it's easy and free. Yet true caregiving is a 24/7 job--it is back breaking and labor intensive every single moment and everyday.  It's like you wake up and dread what faces you through the day.  meanwhile your siblings will worry about their inheritance forgetting how expensive it is to care-give. My best advice is put them in a nursing home to avoid the drama of siblings being obsessed with the money to the point of accusing the caregiver.
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Tell him if anything should happen to him where he is physically or mentally incapacitated at any point, who would speak for him and care for him? Better to have it in place before anything happens. Also, do your homework before splitting up responsibilities and taking on DPOA, it can be all consuming if something does happen with him. Please be prepared yourself.
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I told my mom (just in the nick of time at stage 4-5 Alzheimer's but still able to understand basic things and sign her name) that I needed to be signed on the checking account to be able to pay her bills IN CASE she ever got sick or went into the hospital. I needed to be signed on to the savings account for when she passed away so I could pay her funeral expenses, that I could never afford.


I needed to know what she wanted in the way of end of life decisions, so a Power of Attorney needed to be signed also.
We contacted the senior center in our town and they had a referral to a free elder law attorney. We had the first meeting to figure out what she wanted, then we picked up the papers a couple weeks later. We gave a donation. I took a copy and she got one also. I also got a letter from her neurologist and family doctor declaring that she is incompetent to care for herself and can't live alone.
I think all my bases are covered. Now I have no problem in caring for her.
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Lots of us have been through this. He has to be competent to assign POA. More info would help folks advise you.
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