What is the cost of pursuing a POA?


I am getting contact with an elder law attorney in my area. I just would like to know the cost of getting a POA? The rehab center where my mother is really wants to bring her home where she does not have any care. I have spoken with her case manager a I was threaten with abandonment . So I feel my only defense is getting a POA. Since my mother is not making a wise decision.

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Sounds a little like my GMO, who never wanted to sign over her house, or a will, or DPOA. She would never accept food stamps or M.A. She would make do with whatever little bit she had, she was so proud. Finally one day she didn't pick up her phone, and my mom & I went over -- fearing the worst -- but she had fallen in the kitchen and couldn't get up. We called ambulance, in a nutshell she never came home again. She begged me to take her home, every time I visited her in NH, I can still see her "Oh Janie you've come to Take Me Home..." and she would literally grab my sweater as I turned to leave her there. I felt like such a horrible granddaughter. But she never had signed anything over, and even though we took good care of her old house, the county got it all for to pay back the Medicaid bills. Some of these older people, they cannot live at their old homes anymore, its impossible, and sometimes you just have to call the ambulance (or just leave them at the rehab) because they aren't going to sign any papers for you to take care of it in a better way. My GMO would have had better food, and help with heating bills, and maybe in-home helpers, if she would just have let us help. Pride gets in the way, and they don't know it.
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It sounds like the situation with your mom is beyond the point at which a DPOA can be useful to you.

OK correct me if I am wrong…. so the situation is that your mom - who is in a rehab at a facility (I'm guessing this is post-hospitalization stay at rehab and she entered the facility as this so Medicare is paying 100% for the first 21 days at the place); & mom is not being at all compliant in doing any aspect of her care plan, so
since mom is not "progressing" as required by Medicare in her rehab, the rehab needs to discharge your mom, correct? You live in the same city and you are on the record @ the facility as the point person for your mom, but you do not have a DPOA or MPOA for your mom, correct? You cannot provide 24/7 care & mom will not do anything proactively to take care of herself, correct? The rehab facility has not provided any assistance for placing her in a NH or other long term care facility.

If this describes the situation, at this late point in time, your getting a DPOA won't do much good as mom will likely won't sign (make you DPOA) at all willingly. I doubt good legal is going to let her sign a document under duress or that she is forced to do. If she somehow would sign a DPOA, she sounds like the type that will either rescind the DPOA or will raise a ruckus about not doing whatever the DPOA wants done. The issue often with POA's is that, if the person who signed it refuses to go along with whatever the POA wants them to do - even if it is their obvious best interest - the POA can't force them.

The only way to make her do things to to have guardianship / conservatorship granted to you or to another person by the court. Now G/C is a whole different legal avenue; costs from 4K - 8K to do; has reporting requirements; & G/C likely to undergo a background check. G/C is not at all simple as a DPOA would be. Now you can go the whole become a G/C route. BUT you do NOT have to. Every state has a whole system of court appointed G/C's who have some degree of training and understanding of what being a g/c entails.. It is not unusual for an adult child not to be able to provide the oversight and ability to do for their parent as the parent is just so contrary or incapable of rational thought that it is impossible. The type of parent who rescinds the POA when they don't get their way or use the ability to change the POA as a wedge between competing siblings. For elders like that, having them become a ward of the state with the state appointed G/C taking over can be the best plan as the whole emotional parent/child dynamic is gone. Now if you really truly know that no matter what mom is flat not going to be at all compliant in doing what she needs to do & can do for herself, then my suggestion to force the hand of the rehab facility to contact APS and have them work with the state to do make mom an emergency ward of the state. Believe me, they have had to do this before and know how to make this happen.

Your other choice is that you decide to be mom's G/C and ask the court to do an emergency ward action to name you the G/C - since you are going to see an elder law attorney ask them what the courts are like as to how they deal with temporary G/C vs. permanent G/C situations.

The whole charge you with "abandonment" is a total ruse by the facility, they want her out because Medicare and her secondary insurance won't pay anymore since mom is non-compliant and not "progressing" in rehab. You are not abandoning her, she is in a facility with skilled nursing staff who can take care of her. They can't kick ma out on the street, they have to come up with a discharge plan. Basically they want you to deal with the problem that is mom. Her discharge plan probably call for 24/7care and you cannot do that, therefore, they need to find a place that will.

Will there be fall-out on all this? Yeah but how nuclear depends on what has been done up to this point. Now mom won't be happy but she likely isn't going to be pleased no matter what but she cannot care for herself (as she is not mobile). Now how was the paperwork done when mom entered rehab? If this was a post hospital placement, then there may just be minimal paperwork done. As long as you personally did not sign an residential / admissions contract with the facility, then it is not your responsibility to pay. The facility will likely threaten to bill you and turn it over to collections, but if you did not personally sign off on this, not your debt. Speak with the attorney on all this. Good luck, none of this is simple or easy.
Helpful Answer (3)

Your mother requires a court-ordered Guardianship. A POA can only carry out the patient's wishes. If she wants to go home, the POA takes her home.
A Guardian, on the other hand, can place her in a nursing home and sign the application for Medicaid. Pursue that ASAP with the help of the Social Worker.
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My mother is not mobile. She will not comply with the facility. She does not want anyone to tell her what to do. She wants to come home where she will just do nothing. I am not home for more than 12 hours a day. She does not want any aides coming to the house. She will not sign up for Medicaid she has very little income and do qualify. I am not understanding why she wants to come home when she clearly cannot do anything for herself. I was thinking that I can get the POA without her signature. Because she will not sign willingly for me to make any decision for her. So could someone tell me what my options are here.
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Rehab places generally only keep people for the time that Medicare pays for which is 90 days. Your mother would need to be able to go to a lawyer's office to sign a document that would make you her durable and medical POA. Together that will cost you around $400-$500. Why do they want you to take her home? Has she improved that much? Is your home prepared for someone with mobility problems? Does her doctor think that her mobility problems are such that she needs to go to assisted living or to a nursing home?
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