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My 84 year old Mom has refused to draw up her legal paperwork in the past but I am finally convincing her. I am looking for an affordable way of doing it since I am paying for it. My Mom has no money and is in stout $15 g in debt. I am trying to avoid probate and need the financial POA in case I need to place her. Thanks in advance.

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Mpat stare attorney general websites have these forms. That would be my 1st step.
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Isthisrealyreal Aug 24, 2020
Oh my, I didn't check my stupid smart phone spell check. Most State Attorney General's websites
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Katie, how are you looking for a low cost attorney?   I.e., what steps are you taking?  Where are you looking?  Are you contacting bar associations?   What's the general area of your mother's home?  
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I always cringe when I read that someone with no legal experience doesn't want to hire an attorney to get the job done properly, and thoroughly.    I understand the desire to conserve funds, especially when they're in short supply, but some of the issues you raise beg to be addressed by an attorney.

I'm also emphasizing what others have written, especially Alva's comments on Medicaid, for which if needed may rely on the house as a recoverable asset.

Let me just address this:   "She does own her condo which I was hoping on gifting it to my brother who lives with her and has kept her out of a nursing home. "

I assume you're aware that whatever you hope or want is not relevant.  (I'm not being snide or cruel, just realistic.)    It's your mother's choice.   I think it's very thoughtful of you to want your brother to have the house, eventually, for his caregiving services, but it really is your decision.   Nor should you push her on this issue as it could be construed as undue influence.  

Beyond that, you can't gift it unless it's first conveyed to you by your mother.  I do understand that you're planning ahead and probably thinking of solutions, as apparently it's challenging for her to face this.

In order to enable your brother to get the house (Medicaid being set aside at this point), the title would ideally be changed from your mother as sole owner to your mother as joint owner with your brother, and "rights of survivorship" added to the title.   Title would pass directly to him on her death, the house wouldn't have to be probated, and you probably wouldn't be harassed by the bloodhounds who scour probate files then pester the Personal Representatives to sell a house, or in some other way get involved.  

HOWEVER, I DO NOT KNOW if this was changed during the last tax law; it's a complex law, and I just don't know if it addresses something like joint ownership and inheritance.   It's hard enough to wade through the trust and estate guidelines.   This definitely is an issue for an attorney well versed in that tangled mess of legislation.

If it were possible, it's the easiest way to transfer property on death.

However #2, what's the status of the $15K in debt?    Has any of it been written off?    If Mom's still at home, are the creditors hounding her?  Any suits been started?   If the creditors are still harassing her, and haven't yet filed suit, that's another issue.   If any were to sue and get judgments, they would be priority liens that have to be satisfied before your brother could inherit with clear title.

That raises another issue:  is the property subject to any mortgage?   If so, brother would also have to address that, TRY to assume the mortgage (which isn't always possible as some lenders are strict about this) and continue to pay down the mortgage as well as pay property taxes.   Is he in a financial position to do so?

A bankruptcy attorney might be an appropriate person to consult, to determine whether or not Mom  could shed those debts.  I would imagine they're pretty busy right now though; there are millions of folks in dire financial straits.

What you can do is exploit the willingness of attorneys to give advice, just to help you sort out the legalities.   Senior Centers (prior to the pandemic) used to invite attorneys for free, quick consults.   You could at least get some direction from them, and possibly find someone who can offer a good rate.  

Katie, in many ways I hate to warn you of these issues because you sound like a good daughter, thoughtful and considerate of your mother and brother.    But legal issues are like land mines, and need to be addressed before they explode.

Take some time, think over the situation, and consider exploiting what some elder law attorneys used to offer:  free initial consultations.   If the pandemic weren't dominant, there would be free elder seminars, at which attorneys typically give out chits for free consultations.
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Oh, oh. She owns the condo. Now you are in a different territory. YOU cannot gift the condo for her. And you should never gift the condo. She would not be able to get any medicaid help for likely 5 years in the future were she to need it, and you can never be assured she would not need it. You definitely now need to see a lawyer. If you do this worse the cost would be VERY MUCH over anything you can imagine to all concerned. You need the advice of a lawyer so start saving for that today. That can come out of Mom's Social Security, or any other monies she gets but if Mom owns a condo, and your name, I think you said, was on it, and you are planning gifting? You are looking at a whole WORLD of woe without the advice of a lawyer on the best way to move forward here. Save the funds and see the lawyer.
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Thanks everyone! I have been trying to find a low cost attorney but have not been successful yet. I will continue to look. She does own her condo which I was hoping on gifting it to my brother who lives with her and has kept her out of a nursing home. Will continue to look. Thanks everyone!!
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Thanks everyone! I have been trying to find a low cost attorney but have not been successful yet. I will continue to look. She does own her condo which I was hoping on gifting it to my brother who lives with her and has kept her out of a nursing home. Will continue to look. Thanks everyone!!
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If you are having POA drawn up it CAN be done with online forms from such places as NOLO, but the rules differ a bit state to state with each state having its own rules, and your powers will almost completely hinge on whether your POA is well drawn up. There is little reason for a will and as I understand it probate needn't be filed when there is no estate. Each State has different rules and you can access that information for your state online. You could likely do a very simple will and POA for legal and medical with only an hour of a Lawyer's time, and that is what I would do to insure it is airtight. You are not responsible for debts left by your elder EVER. It is crucial you understand financial POA because if you sign things WRONG with a POA you can make yourself responsible for debts. Do the Lawyer would be my advice, or at least legal aid; you may get good advice from some elder care centers where occ. they even have low cost or no cost lawyers who do charitable work in drawing up papers. When the elder dies the estate left stands to pay the debts incurred. If there is no estate then the holders of the debt are pretty much out of luck. Others here do estate planning, and we even have a Lawyer or two on site so I hope they jump in to answer. Some have done papers on their own. For my own part I served as POA for my brother and was glad I had the papers done with a Lawyer. Every entity you deal with seems to want some different kind of wording on some subject, and it becomes scary off and on. Good luck.
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If she has no money, why would you need probate.  You do need POA
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Yes I have and it's fine if she doesn't have much, and nothing complicated. Just cash in the bank, a car, minor possessions. If your mom's in debt she or her estate will need to take care of that at some point, ethically speaking. Encourage her to assign durable PoA and enable all financial authority for all types of transactions.
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