My sister wants my mother in a home and I have POA and I want her to live what time she has in her on home. I don't want her to die alone like my dad did. My cousin and I give her 24/7 care and I take care of all her bills and anything else that comes up. We also have and Aid come in to help 5 days a week from Hospice and nurses and a doctor that comes and checks on her. What I am worried about is if My mother put my sister as executor I have no idea what she is capable of doing. She is very greedy and thinks everything should go to her an her family. I am the one the takes care of her. My sister hardly even comes over or calls to check on her. To tell you the truth I don't even know if she has a will. She did not even have her funeral taken care off, so I went and took care of that myself. I would just like to know how much power an Executor has, if we find her will. Someone please help. All I want is what best for my mom.

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Did your mother have a Trust? You speak about you being POA, when did she give that to you and what attorney drew up the papers? You are worried that your sister has been named again you are talking in terms that are used in wills and Trusts. Has your sister told you that she is the Executor of your Mom's will or Trust? If she has not, then what is making you so worried? She may be as much in the dark as you are.

As POA do you have it over her finances or over her healthcare? I don't know how you got it but if it is a legal document then you are in charge for now and you can keep her in her home until she dies, unless your sister decides to file for guardianship over her. This however is long, drawn out and very expensive. I personally do not understand why your sister would want her in a home if she is being taken care of by you and your cousin and does not need nursing home care.

You may need to speak to your sister or see if a cousin might speak with her and find out if she does know about an existing will or Trust. If your Mom has an attorney you could ask him but chances are you have already looked everywhere and are finding nothing.

I would say go and see a Family Law Attorney a lot of them offer 1 hour free consultations. Write down your questions and go ask them, there is also a site called where you can ask questions and get answers for free.

If your sister wants to sell Mom's home and if Mom is on Medicaid then she is going to cause a lot of problems. If your Mom becomes very ill and has to go into a nursing home in the future and she has Medicaid, they will make you pay every cent from the sale of the house for her care because she can only have $2000 in assets but she can keep her home and it won't count for now.

Please go see an attorney and let them help you sort this out!

Best Wishes to you and your Mom!
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I know you're not in California but for general or comparative information, take a look at:

There are generally to powers of attorney, GDPOA or general durable power of attorney for all matters financial WHEN THE PERSON IS ALIVE - this expired upon death - and the DPAHC for durable power of attorney for healthcare for all mattershaving to do with medical and health decisions - this power does extend a bit past death in terms of being able to obtain medical records and disposition of physical remains, for example funeral arrangements, cremation, donation of body parts, etc. l am presuming (hoping) you have BOTH of these and that they were executed before your mom became incompetent with dementia (that way there would be less validity in a challenge unless you do something inappropriate in the managing of your mother's funds.

Being an executor only takes effect AFTER death and the purpose is to "execute" the deceased's wishes as stated in the will. If there is no will, neither of you would be executor. Depending on the value of your mothers estate at death, if its under a certain amount, you may be eligible for a simple filing in court that is not strictly probate and doesn't take as long. But without a trust, its court either way. And the judge what a point and administrator if there's no will. Each state has in their laws an order of succession for the heirs of a person who dies "intestate", meaning without a will. In your case, it would be split between you and your sister, the same as what your mother verbally say to you, so there should be no conflict. This leave your cousin out however so be aware of that.

If she were competent, your mother would be able to sign a personal services agreement to pay you and your cousin (assuming there are funds available) for work on her behalf as specified in the contract. As DGPOA, you would generally be allowed to sign contracts on behalf of your mom. This could get a little sticky as far as your sister might be concerned if you sign a contract to pay yourself but there shouldn't be a problem in signing a contract for a reasonable payment to your cousin. These contracts have specific wording that must be present to be considered an expense under Medicaid so if you decide to go this route, be sure to have an attorney draw up the contract.

If you are unsure about the presence of a will, then you probably know for sure there isn't a trust? The person in charge of the trusses call the trustee. The owner of the trust is called the settlor and during their lifetime, they are typically the beneficiary. The usual type of trust you its called a living trust and it is generally revocable, meaning it can be changed. At the time of incompetence or death, the revocable trust becomes irrevocable, meaning it can no longer be changed.

Sometimes, if a person petitions for conservatorship (aka guardianship) and it is granted, the conservator can petition the court to modify the trust and it may be granted. However, the trust as prepared by the owner (settlor) must already be in existence. Under your current circumstances, if you chose to petition for conservatorship, you would be spending the money to file and pay an attorney, your sister would have to be notified of the filing and the court date and she could object virtually no cost to her. A good reason to be sure you consult an attorney before you go in that direction.

Depending on which POAs you have, you have more power right now and any interference your sister wanted to bring, SHE would have to bear the cost of getting an attorney. Of course if she were in the position to claim financial or medical abuse are you or your cousin of your mom, she could drag in Adult Protective Services nearly by reporting you. They are required to investigate just based on suspicion.

When you say you have taken care of the funeral arrangements, I assume you paid for that out of your own pocket? Keep track of the things you and your cousin DO, as well as the things your sister DOESN'T do in addition to the things she says. Document, document, document. If you end up in court, the judge me a favor the fact that you've been very involved and find this favor in the fact that she hasn't. If she accuses you of something too strongly, the judge could appoint a paid it ministrator to handle it, cutting into yours and your sisters inheritance, something she may find unpalatable, so it may be good if she knows that before she tried to bring some kind of action, but perhaps don't give her too much information before it gets closer to your mother's passing. If you develop a good relationship with an elder care attorney, an explanation from an authoritative source could go a long way in staving off any arbitrary action by your sister.

Laws undoubtedly very in your state so it would be wise to have a consultation. If it were me, I would consider it moving any money in my moms name into a joint account with my mom, myself and my sister but without having my sister as a signator on the account. I would make sure that I kept very stringent records about every single penny being spent, which might be important to prove to your sister somewhere down the road that you did everything on the up n up but would also be important to show Medicaid in case your mom were to end up in a nursing home and they would need to do the five-year look back. This is just something I would consider doing, because at your moms death you and your sister would own that money jointly and it wouldn't be in your moms estate. You would still treated as her money in terms of paying her final bills.

Without knowing the laws in your state, this is just general information to familiarize yourself with the process. I hope it's informative but it's a complicated matter and it is best if you at least art by consulting an attorney for information.
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WGB, It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job of taking care of your Mom and her affairs. She is so fortunate to have someone as dedicated and loving as you. Glad to hear that you stand up to your sister - stay strong. As has been pointed out, you hold all the cards and your sister really has no say in how you manage your mother. From what everyone has been saying, I don't think your sister will be able to upset your apple cart without causing herself and everyone else big headaches, and she would lose in the end anyway, You mentioned that you would not allow your sister to go through your Mom's belongings and I agree with you 100%. However, if I were you (as POA you have the right), I myself would at least begin sorting through stuff for practical purposes (it's a ton of work at the end), not to sell or give anything away right now, but you are sure to find lots of the unneccesary stuff we all accumulate over the years and could start weeding out. In the process, you might get lucky and come across a Will, or perhaps something written long ago that expresses her wishes, or maybe a safe deposit box key. It seems curious that she went to the trouble to do the medical and financial POA's and not the Will, as these are usually done all together - so I hope you do end up finding one. I believe you have received an abundance of excellent advice from everyone here, and clearly there are a few caregivers who are very knowledgable about this legal topic in the extensiveness of the information they provided to you. We all benefit from their expertise. We appreciate that you are responsive to us as well, and we hope everything works out for you.
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If in fact your sister is executor of your mom's will, she'd better plan on doing exactly as your mom's will states. Today, my lawyer went to court on my behalf and the court removed my sister as the executor because she was not honoring our mom's wishes. That is a big no-no. Money is also missing that was not to be spent until the property was sold. The court is asking for an accounting of said funds. There was no love lost between me and my mom and sister. But a will must be honored or there can be repercussions. Because of my sister's actions or lack thereof, I'm being sued and believe me, I'm not going down without taking her with me. She tangled with the wrong person.
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If she has a will, your sister will have to abide by the wishes in the will. If your sister does indeed have executorship, then there is a will. If she never made out a will, the assests (after all creditors are paid) are divided among people according to the rules in your state. We are going through this right now. My mother-in-law passed last year and my husband was named executor of her will. My husband has to finish paying all her debts including filing a final tax return, then divide the remaining estate equally between the four surviving offspring in accordance with the will. The probate court will not allow an executor to take a bigger share just because they feel entitled. It is actually a huge responsibility and there are legal consequences if the executor does not perform their duties according to the laws.
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She has Dementia and bed ridden and can not make any decisions anymore and she is in her own little world now. Which is really hard to watch. So right now I am just taking it one day at a time. If she didn't tell me I know she did not tell my sister. I guess I will deal with whatever I have to when she's gone. I am the one that made funeral arrangements after she got sick. She did not take care of anything. She always did leave things to the last minute.
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Everyone has some really good input but if your mother is ill and has dementia or Alzheimer's she is not really able to write up a will at this time as they have to be of sound mind when it is done. What is sad is that you didn't make sure this was done at the same time she gave you POA. If you cannot find one her estate will have to go through the court system in probate I believe.

I also do not know if it is mandatory for a will or Trust to be kept by the attorney or filed with the court system although I think it should be. The original that I have is the ONLY copy and if it is lost or house burns or someone gets hold of it and decides to get "creative" and make changes, there is no original filed somewhere that shows what was originally intended. Of course I am in CA and I do not know if it is the same in every state.

If your POA is legal then you basically hold all the cards right now and you can do as you wish to keep your Mom in her home until the day she dies. Your POA ends when she dies. If your sister continues to insist that the house be sold tell her that you all (siblings) need to go to a Family Law Attorney who knows about Medicaid and let him explain the pros and cons of selling her house. If your sister tries to sell it before Mom dies, she cannot legally do it and she could face legal problems by even trying.

You have a good heart and I understand why you want Mom at home. God Bless you All!
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The following are some of the general responsibilties of the executor in taking charge of the assets of the deceased, paying the debts, and distributing the assets to the beneficiaries. This list is not intended to be complete but does indicate the type of issues. Your lawyer will provide you with a complete list.

Ensure that all the real and personal property is protected, including arranging if necessary fire insurance on buildings, and changing locks to protect assets

Locate safely deposit boxes and attempt to locate the key.

Selecting the lawyer to act for the estate and obtaining from them notarial copies of the death certiciate. Choose a lawyer who has extensive experience in Wills and Estates work. Pick an accountant to assist you if your lawyer suggests this is appropriate. Discuss the lawyers and accountants fees and disbursements right up front.

Locate all life insurance policies and notify the insurance company of the death and forward a copy of the death certificate to have the policy paid to the beneficiary.

Notify all insurance companies including house insurance and car insurance of the death. Ensure that insurance is maintained make a list of all the assets and including stocks, bonds, pension funds, bank accounts, government investments, superannuation payments, holiday pay from work, work related life insurance or benefits for the spouse etc.

Are there any interests in partnerships or companies and locate shareholders and partnership agreements and provide a copy to the lawyer for his examination. (there may be triggering clauses in those agreements that must be met quickly)

In conjunction with discussions with the spouse,

Locate the previous several year's income tax returns and provide copies to the lawyer or tax accountant. These must be reviewed quickly to ensure that no filing dates are missed. Government tax authorities do not care that the person is deceased. The executor may be personally liable for any tax penalties that are incurred because filing dates are missed.

Pay the account of the funeral director. Your lawyer will tell you the priority of paying debts, but normally the funeral directors account is to be paid before most other debts.

Make a list of all debts. This will include accounts for charge cards, house utilities, property tax arrears, income tax arrears, loan payments, outstanding leases, mortgages on house or vehicles, alimony or prior separation agreement. Provide this list and supporting documentation to the lawyer.

Once all the assets have been located and the debts paid (including the account of the executor) then the estate will be disbursed in accordance with law and the terms of the Will. In many cases a sale of real estate and personal property may be necessary prior to distribution of the estate. This is where an Estate Settler representative will be invaluable. And since reasonable fees are allowed at no cost to you, the Estate will cover all the costs of Estate Settler.

You will need to advertise for creditors in the local newspaper to ensure that all the debts are known and paid.

Your lawyer will advise whether any court proceeding is required regarding the Will. This is called filing for Probate. Often if there is adequate tax advice at an earlier date, the requirement for Probate can be avoided. This will save the estate considerable money.

You will need to notify the beneficiaries about their bequest and provided there is money left after the payment of all debts, the beneficiaries will receive their money or assets from you as Executor of the estate.

You may need to open up a Bank Account in the name of the Estate at your local bank using a notarial copy of the Will (or Probate if required) together with a copy of the death certificate. Use a chequing account that you receive the cheques back so you can verify that you paid the funds if required at a later date
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Wills are usually filed with the clerk of the County Court. That might be a good place to check to see if your mom has a will filed there.
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I am so sorry for the stress this puts on you and hope it will all work out in the end. I hope you and your sister can work together, even though she is not helping take care of your mother, which is a shame. It is smart to have gotten the funeral taken care of.

My 91 year old mother just agree last week to make a will. she does not own any property and has very little money but still probating an estate without a will is costly and will take a year to settle. With your mother owing a home, you could have used one. But, you will have to deal with it as the time comes. I just hope she does not lose everything with a long and drawn out illness. My Mother is not going down hill fast and we hope to take her next week to get a will made or she may be to incompetent to do one.

My warm wishes and prayers are with you.

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