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I have been POA (durable) for almost 4 years for my 90 year old widowed father who lives in his own home in WI. I live 400 miles away. His "assets" are enough to probably pay out of pocket for 4 years of NH care, if it came to that.

He has some dementia but wants to remain in his own home. Recently he sold some commercial property in his name in the amount of $35,000.00. Before the ink was even dry, one of my sister's said to me that amount now should be distributed equally to the same beneficiaries named in his will, which are 7, including myself. I tried to explain to her that I was hesitant to do so, as there is a Medicaid 5 year look back period if he would exhaust his funds. Her response, "he has plenty of money"..., implying that shouldn't be a problem. I considered distributing a lesser amount than $5,000 each, possibly $3,000 but again, if he would live longer and would have to have Medicaid at some point, the situation with the look back period would be the same.

This particular sibling has always been very focused on receiving money from Dad, whether now or after he is gone. She has spent more time with me arguing and dismaying that our dad didn't distribute his money to his (adult) children earlier than the last 5 years, so that he wouldn't have to use his " hard earned money" to pay for his own care if he had to go to a NH. Her argument is considering all the taxes his paid, it's time the "government" pays for his care, if necessary.

It's useless to try to explain anything to her as she as anecdotal comments of what other people have been able to do to avoid using their own funds to pay for NH care. She is fine to have in home help for him but when I've mentioned who would pay for that, she is usually without comment.

It bothers me no end that she feels she already has "ownership" of dad's money.

If according to what I understand her to say, he will outlive his money; if that would be the case she will get her portion of the sale after he is gone through the distribution of the will.

My question at this time is, am I being over cautious in not distributing the $35,000 to my siblings? My dad has said he is fine (he has no concept of the look back period, etc.) with whatever I would decide, That being said, he is very aware now and in the past my sister is always looking out (monetarily) for her 2 children and 8 grandchildren.

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It's hard to know why people do things that they do and what the outcome will be. Just make sure all the ducks line up legally. There may be no future repercussions of this at all. Only time will tell. I don't understand why it was so important to your sister that the distributions happen right now, but it was apparently important enough that she went over your POA head to your father and got him to sign something. If your father has not been declared legally incompetent, she can do that. Sure makes things messy when there is a self-appointed POA doing things behind the real POA's back.
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Now I'm really stressing after reading the responses to my updated post.
My sister went to this lawyer without informing me first, so I wasn't aware of what was going to be discussed. She called me Friday after they had met. At that time she wanted be to send copies of his DPOA and will so this attorney could see I'd they are in order. She mentioned that dad was (or did) sign a form stating I would have to inform my siblings about his assets if asked. The conversation was brief as she hung up on me, so I didn't know until today that Dad agreed to the distribution of sale proceeds at this time as mentioned in my post above. This morning I emailed her requesting a copy of the form concerning disclosure that he was said to have signed.

I was able to tell her on Friday before things broke down, I had met with an attorney with dad (November) and both the will and DPOA were in order.

In response to my inquiry about the disclosure form, she said that it wasn't put together yet and since I had already met with an attorney and he confirmed both documents were in order there was no need for the attorney she went to review th
I do wish they would have had the courtesy at the very least, if not a legal ,,, ,responsibility? to inform me about the distribution. I had my own questions as I mentioned above.
If they did not think about that, I would think the lawyer would bring it up?I know my dad would not understand about the ramifications of distributing the proceeds now but I do believe it was his wish to make the gift at this time. I would have also asked with his dementia if he could approve the payments.
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I think Pam's on the right track. It's time to let this attorney know that his involvement in advising your sister is meddling in your father's affairs and if he doesn't stop his actions, you'll file a grievance with the State Bar Association.

Have you asked your sister for a commitment to help with your father's short and long term care? You're going to need to be as aggressive as she is about the financial issues.
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Hello - well what would likely be Sissys endgame in this?
To me that's issue. Are there other siblings? If so, can Sissy circle the wagons with other siblings to convince dad to remove you as DPOA? I'd bet a case of prosecco that this is Sissy's plan and she wants the statements to show lack of fiduciary duty of his $ while under your DPOA.

Hmmmm, so what to do? I'd suggest you plan on a visit sometime in the near future and set up an appointment with dads broker in advance. I assume he has your DPOA so that broker can email you past statements so your up to date when you meet. Really you kinda need to have a face to face with the broker to review all (like if any margins out there) & what type of pain would happen if dad needed to do a "Tplus3" and review dads goals. I'd also find & schedule a meeting with Guardianship atty's. If sissy challenges you as DPOA, then your next step is probably to go guardianship. It would be well worth the consultation to already have legal at the ready. If dads state is the type that the judges just flat prefer in-state resident as guardian, that could place you at a disadvantage in this (I'm assuming you live out of state as its 400 miles away, but perhaps not?) Dad -it sounds like - has enough $ & interests that good legal will matter both for him & for you. oh & take your cv or resume to the atty meeting as your past trust & estate experience will be a plus on your suitability along with dads brokerage statements.

Sissy, if left on her own, would drain his funds in her totally wrong "keep it from the guvmint" mindset. She's already met with an atty, so she's - imho - shopping around to find someone who will agree with her. This first one didn't. But I'd bet she'll look for another. Sissy thinks shes able to outfox the situation is my take on this. Dad is fortunate that he has funds to private pay if need be but he needs every penny so be able to private pay for whatever his future holds & yiu need to do whatever to ensure that continues to happen. Good luck & keep a sense of humor in all this.
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Fax a copy of your DPOA to that lawyer and a letter informing him that your sister is exerting "undue influence" which will not be tolerated.
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UPDATE.
My sister and her husband brought my Dad to an elder law attorney to clarify Medicaid ramifications to Dad if he made the gift of the sale proceeds ($35,000.00) to the 7 beneficiaries in his will. Dad, considering his assets, in the attorney's opinion; could make this gift and only this gift without detriment to his future.

I don't agree with it as discussed above and by distributing it now, it will also mean $35,000 less that could be paid for in home care and maybe delay his entering a NH. I'm assuming the attorney informed my sister what would be the repercussions if he would use up his assets and had to apply for Medicaid in the 5 year look back period. But even with his advancing dementia, it is his decision.

I am prepared to pay back my $5,000 portion to Medicaid, if that would be the case. As far as the others, I wouldn't necessarily count on.
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I haven't read all the posts but my view is this the money is your fathers until such time as he dies and debts been paid - then she can have her money and not before. Your role is not to gamble with his money and certainly not to distribute it. You cannot overrule him if he has capacity to make decisions and explain his rationale for them in a lucid way - I doubt he would be able to grasp to complexities of medicaid or medicare so I would think you have grounds to take over that responsibility for him. If he doesn't have that capacity then he also won't have capacity to sign over POA IF THE PROFESSIONALS DO THEIR JOB PROPERLY. Of course you could always hand it over to the courts to decide and appoint POA- then I can guarantee there won't be ANY money left!
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What a loaded conversation about the money. Really, $400K is not that much if he were to need long-term care. It will be a good nest egg for him if he should need it. Good job holding onto it for him. I hope that it continues to go smoothly. Your stance that it will be for his care and that anything left over will be distributed according to his will is a very good stance. It doesn't sound like your sister is hurting for money, and the "government" is not going to seize the money for nursing home care. The only people getting money will be the nursing home, either from your father's account or from Medicaid. To not have any money left in the account and to not be able to qualify for Medicaid would be a problem.

It sounds like your sister is counting eggs to me, thinking they look like baby chicks. You've done a good job trying to hold her back. I hope your father doesn't let her in the door. I have a feeling it would not go well.
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Thank for all that have posted to my initial inquiry and for the supportive comments. Sorry I did not respond earlier. When my sister mentioned about splitting the profits from the commercial building she was at our Dad's home. He gave her the phone, so I expect that she told him he should give the proceeds NOW to the 7 beneficiaries named in his will. I would think he then told her to speak to me as I take care of his "financials". When I mentioned about the 5 year look back period, her response was something to the effect, he should have done this 10 years ago (give away his money). During this "conversation" or another around the same time, she mentioned her late in-laws had gifted her and her husband money. Of course, they never went to a NH or had any paid home care.

Well, I heard no more, until I emailed to see when the closing was and received an email stating it was that day (1/6). I've been anticipating an email or phone call letting me know how things went and which account of Dad's the deposit should be made.

I did get a call today, but we didn't even get to that subject. Instead she told me she and her husband had taken Dad to an attorney. The attorney wanted a copy of the financial POA, medical POA and will to see if all was in order. The attorney did confirm about the 5 year look back for Medicaid. She said the attorney mentioned if he had wanted to do something to "protect" his assets, he should have done something when he was in his 70's or 80's. Protecting his assets in her parlance means giving it away to the adult children, etc. so that Medicaid would now (or in the future) pay for his care.

She also said a letter was written up at the attorney's office which Dad signed stating that he was giving me the authority to inform any of the siblings about his financials on request. I had previously emailed her 2 months ago that Dad didn't give me that authority to do so and so I did not have the legal ability to discuss anything when she had askes. I told her if she wanted to know anything on that subject she could speak directly to Dad.

My dad has always told me not to tell the siblings how much he is worth since I've had durable power of attorney (4 years). I never did and no one asked, until now. He has always said about this particular sibling "it's always about the money. Give her grandkids, this amount of money". In early fall he brought out one of his brokerage statements to show her. My Dad has not been declared incompetent but does have dementia and I feel that is why he let his guard down. He doesn't even remember doing that when I ask him. He just last week told me (again) not to tell anyone about his finances.

After viewing his statement my sister decided to call me to talk about his financials. She began to critique his account letting me how things should have been invested (over $400,000 in the account-guess not good enough for her!). She proceeded to tell me he should have a trust to avoid probate, blah, blah, blah. His brokerage account is TOD which avoids probate. His home and checking accounts are probate assets, but as executor of the will I have no problem dealing with that. I had almost 20 years in trust estates operations. I don't claim to be an expert but I know enough to understand basics and how to go about dealing with probate.

I think she wants more than to just know if he has enough money at this time to get meals on wheels and possibly have someone stop in once or twice a day. She's mention both over the last few months. I would not have had a problem confirming that. Considering her remarks on his brokerage account and other comments she's made over the years, I think it is more than that. What I don't want is to have to account for every financial decision I make as POA or have to consult with her or any of the other siblings before I do anything.

She claims she's not interested in an inheritance, she was doing this for Dad's benefit, so the "government" doesn't take his money for the NH. I think the attorney has confirmed it's too late for that now. Anyway, that should have been his concern and not hers. The only people to benefit monetarily if he had gifted his money earlier or changed ownership of his assets before his death would be his beneficiaries. Putting him in a position where his only choice would be to go on Medicaid, I don't think would be a benefit to him.

Unfortunately the phone call was brief as she hung up on me. I lost my cool and said she was interested in how much she would inherit and of course, she claimed that wasn't the case. So, I'm awaiting to see what this letter my Dad signed states. I also realize my dad can sign my sister (or anyone else) to be POA, hopefully that won't be the case, but I think it's always been about control with her. She told me recently it's always bothered her she wasn't given POA. AND she said told me today I should have been advising Dad the time I've been POA to tell all the siblings about his finances (WHAT!!!)
Lord, help me!
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Your dad named you as his POA because he places his trust in you & your judgement to be in his best interests. You are right to be concerned about dads outliving his assets. The costs of care whether it's in a facility or remaining at home with caregivers can be quite staggering. Genworth - which is a market leader for LTC policies - does an annual costs of care report......US average NH private pay room & board costs for private room is 92k annually. Alaska is the highest at $ 281K, yes over a quarter of a M.Where I live, it's 120k - 144k annually & this is just the baseline room & boards costs, there will be all sorts of ancillary medical and supply costs that will be above whatever Medicare or their secondary health insurance pays their physicians and other providers. Home health averages $ 20 hr. When my mom needed home health post rotor cuff surgery, it was a minimum of 4hr time blocks 3X a week....and mom was still very competent and cognitive with home health there to drive her to PT, assist in bathing and household things she couldn't do, lift, etc post surgery. The costs of oversight & caregiving once dementia gets into the middle & later phase will just increase. What often happens is that at home costs can actually be more expensive than having them in a facility.

I do hope your dad has the funds to never need to apply for Medicaid. But if not, realize that for eligibility the degree of financial history is pretty exacting and can go back 5 years from the date of the application. That 35K if gifted to Sissy or others would need for no medicaid application till 2021 in order for it not to be an issue. Any real property dad owns (cars, home, land) will have to be disclosed. The state can easily run a match-up by his name or SS# on any transfers and to the penny. Transfer penalties are not uncommon and it will be the POA who ends up saddled with dealing with it. If dad were to say get a transfer penalty for that 35K, could youprivate pay to the NH for dad for the penalty period??? Remember dad will have to spend down assets & become basically impoverished in order to be apply & eligible for Medicaid.

So realistically dad would need somewhere mid-six figures to be able to pay the costs of care without needing to apply for medicaid. And dad will need to also have whatever funds are needed to pay on his home and any other property he owns if he hopes to be able to have them inherited as per his will OR pay for their mainteneance & costs till they they are sold if they need to be sold to pay for his care. Does dad have maybe 400 - 700K? Really take a hard look at the figures before any gifting.
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Reinforcing what others have written, your obligation is to your father to manage his assets in the best way possible for him, not for the heirs, until that time comes.

I might also address the issue of financing with your sister the next time she asks for money to put a stop to her demands and tell her that you couldn't even consider her request without a plan by which she and the other siblings put in escrow funds for your father's care, which you would manage, as well as commit of their time to help care for him. If she hears this a few times, it might stop her.
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hello1951, guestshopadmin is right in her first post, as my Dad was in for a surprise at the cost of having around the clock professional caregivers, he's in a panic now selling stock to keep enough money in his checking to pay for caregivers. My Dad, who had saved big time for these rainy days is afraid he won't have enough money if he lives another 4 years, which would make Dad 98.

Your sister needs a crash course in elder care financing, Medicare, and Medicaid. And the behind the scene cost of other budgeted items for an elder. Something as simple as Depends can crash one's budget as they are very expensive. The cost of Boost or Ensure isn't anything to shake a stick at. Then what if your Dad needs a hospital bed? The top of the line could be $10k.

So stand your ground, Dad money is only going to himself. Yes he can gift his money to whomever he wants, but that would create a minefield later on if he needs Medicaid. Ask your sister if she would take Dad in if he runs out of money and can't qualify for Medicaid.
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Stand firm - your legal and moral duty is to your Dad and it is wise not to distribute money - open that leak hole and your sister will never be satisfied. Then, should he urgently need it back, she will not help, you can be sure. so the others will have to pitch in. So be fair to your Dad and to your other siblings. I suspect that is exactly why you are POA.
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I re-read what was written. Your father is not incompetent, hello1951, so he can decide to gift or not gift the money. As POA, however, I wouldn't do it personally. I wondered why your sister was approaching you and not your father about the money.
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You are abiding by the LAW, tell your sister if she does not like the LAW, to go to court and demand her portion immediately. The Judge will probably send her for psychiatric evaluation.
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As POA, it is your legal responsibility to act in your father's best interest. That comes ahead of satisfying a greedy sibling. Do your duty!
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I would just tell her that the money belongs to Dad until he passes. Then whatever is left over of the estate will be distributed. I could use your sister's logic to distribute some of my mother's money now, but it wouldn't be right. Chances are she will need that money, so I wouldn't do it. (Nor would my brothers want me to.)
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Stick to your guns. Those who haven't had this responsibility have no concept of the rules and regs, Your description is correct. Tell sis that IF your Dad has money left after he is gone, it will be distributed according to the Will. There isn't enough space on this board for me to describe the fiasco with an inheritance on my hubby's side of the family. The vultures who wouldn't visit for 10 minutes called the day after the death asking how much and when would it be distributed.

Need a financial reason, we recently buried a family member --- 101 1/2, another 98, and my MIL will be 99 in a few months. I wish your Dad the best but things can go sour rather quickly. 4 years of NH payments is NOT being overly cautious.
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You are absolutely right in my opinion to hold on to that money for your dad's possible care. Stiffing the taxpayers for your dad's care, if he has the money is flat-out wrong in my opinion. Your sister is greedy and it's obvious why your dad put YOU in charge of his money. Hold firm - you're doing the right thing! People like your sister make my blood boil!
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You are not over cautious. Read some of the posts from freqflyer whose 90+ parents lived in their own home until mom had a bad series of falls and hitting head. She is in full blown dementia and Her dad has 24 hour caregivers to stay in their home about $10k a month. Medicare does not pay nursing home board. Medicaid only beds unless you private pay for about 2 years in advance are shared room and not top of the line homes. Not all facilities accept Medicaid. Medicaid will not cover 24 hour care at home, only a portion of hours. Is sis willing to keep dad at home with her for the penalty period if you gift and dad needs help tomorrow? Not only that but as your dad's POA you answer to his needs, not siblings. Too bad and you cannot gift your part of the split under your POA as that is looking out for you, not dad. Say no now, you will have a bumpy ride. Read threads about siblings that care about inheritance rather than parent care. Eye opening.
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