Can Healthcare DPOA and Financial POA be combined in one document or do we need 2 separate documents?


My mom who has Avanced dementia wants me to be her "Agent/Attorney In Fact" for her regarding her Durable Power of Attorney. One of her requests is for my sister not to have any say or any involvement.
If for some reason something happens to me or I am unable we don't have any backup person We don't have any family other than I'm Australia and we don't know anyone who is willing to act in this capacity. She wants me to protect her from my sister. Please help. We don't want to take this to court as my sister is very wealthy and can afford the best legal assistance where as we are recipients of Medicaid and financially struggling. Please help.

I need to also draw up some legal document but I have nobody to act as agent. I have spent the last 14 years being very ill and the last 9 years taking care of both my mom and dad and have struggled with not being isolated and totally involved in taking care of my parents.
Please advise if the a Healthcare Durable Power of Attorney and Financial Power of Attorney can be combined in one document or do we need 2 separate documents?

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What if I can get an elder law attorney? Problem is it costs a fortune to apply for guardianship and I would hate to put my mom through that kind of heartache and stress. Going to court would scare her to death (and me), we've never even had a parking ticket
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Yes it is very frightening. The process is lengthy and expensive. My mom is ok a lot of the times but it's unpredictable when that will be
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BeHopeful, in what county is Charlotte, NC located? Google that county's bar association and ask about legal aide services. If you can't afford an elder law attorney, try to locate someone who can help you for free, or at a nominal cost.

If you don't think your mother would pass a competency test, that's even more reason not to use online boilerplate forms. The fact that you have this knowledge could be used against you to revoke the DPOA.

What you also could do is contact the county Probate Court and get information on a guardianship application, as Pam suggests. This may be your only safe course of action.

Sorry I can't give you better advice, but your mom's dementia is a complicating factor.
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Once they can't pass the competency, the best course is Guardianship.
As for POA/DPOA, look around here and you see ongoing battles when the patient is convinced by others to change the POA and revoke all previous versions, especially when dementia advances.
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GardenArtist thank you for your feedback. I so wish I had the time and health to be more active on this board because you guys are great
I know you said I shouldn't use online prepaid type boiler plate forms, and I agree. The only problem is that my mom isn't always in a situation where she is competent. She definitely wants me to be power of attorney but she will not pass the general competency test that an attorney will require to do the will.
I need to do this soon but don't know what to do.
Some documents state that it's only legal and sone say that one will have a say in where she lives, who will care for her and what doctors she will go to.
I don't know how or what lawyer to go to or how to find help in Charlotte, NC. If you have any information, please help, please. I am needing a break so bad and suffering from such exhaustion and burnout and each time I deal with this issue I somehow develop a severe migraine that lasts for days.
Thank you for your support and thank you for being there
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BeHopeful, a Durable Power of Attorney incorporates both legal and financial authority. It's the Living Will or Health Care Proxy or Advanced Directive that has to be separate, at least here in Michigan.

My sister's and father's DPOA allowed me to act legally as well as financially on her/his behalf. I also had to act under the Living Will to sign the DNR order for my sister.

I hope you aren't considering an online form. Please don't! There are other alternatives for getting assistance when you don't have funds to have these documents drafted by an attorney:

1. Google the state bar association of your state, check its website, and look for "pro bono" or "legal aide" organizations. If you don't find any, contact your local county bar association and ask if they have contact info for these organizations. Pro bono is gratis legal help; legal aide may offer free or low cost help.

If you're running into dead ends, post here again, stating the name of your county and I'll see what I can find for you.

In my area, there's a free elder law/estate planning service provided by one of the local law schools. This would be something that would be very helpful to you.

2. If your city/township has a senior center, call them and ask if they have free legal counseling for seniors. You may have to take your mother's ID to prove she's a senior, but you can get some general advice and perhaps find an elder law attorney who may give you a discounted fee to prepare the DPOA.

3. When you contact the AAA, ask them if they have a caregiver expo planned for this year, and if so, when and where. If it's soon, go to it (they're free here), visit the booths of elder law attorneys and pick up discount coupons if they have them (they do here in Michigan). Sometimes they'll even offer a free consultation. They also generally have free literature with some legal advice that you could read to acquaint yourself more with what needs to be done.

4. You're much better off trying to find a competent elder law attorney to address all possible situations than downloading boiler plate forms which don't address your specific concerns, especially incorporating your mother's concern that your sistet not be involved in decision making. That may take a specific exclusion as affirmation of your mother's intent.

5. Given your mother's "advanced dementia", there could especially be challengable issues whether you exerted undue influence on her and/or whether or not she was in fact capable of making the decision to exclude your sister from decision making.

For example, if you used a boiler plate downloadable form, excluded your sister from decision making and your mother signed it, and if a doctor diagnosed your mother as having dementia, later your sister could challenge the veracity of the documents given your mother's dementia. It is possible she could have it nullified.

Better off to search thoroughly and find a real live elder law attorney who knows what she/he is doing than using online forms.

6. Attorneys can act as your surrogates if you don't have family members - they're named in the DPOA and/or Living Will, but there will be fees when they have to act. I don't know whether there are any who act pro bono. Some of the large law firms do allow their attorneys to do pro bono work as a service to the community.

Good luck!
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I agree, call your Area of aging they are very helpful..
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Call your Local Agency on Aging usually incorporated within the Council of Governments. They can provide you information of all sorts. Also legal aid in your area that will help you determine what documents you will need. Their fees are on a sliding scale. Or if you prefer to retain an attorney check out AVVO website to ask your questions receive responses at no fee.
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Assandache7, thank you so much.
Yes we are in the USA. Isn't each state different though? The legal issues and different terms are very confusing. I also get so emotional when I do stuff like this. It helps t confusing n
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Rocker Lawyer incorporates both. Legal Shield just has Financial.
I think I used the wrong term. The durable POA stated that the agent may make decisions as to where she lives, who takes care of her, what doctors she sees, what pharmacy to use, what food she may continue eating etc. I wasn't referring to End of Life like a Living Will or Advanced Healthcare Directive because those are completely different documents,
My main concern is if something happens to me or for health reasons I'm unable to follow through. I am so burned out and haven't had a break in 9 years or had time to do much for myself I just think it's important to have a backup. (Or maybe not??).
Please forgive me. This is my first posting because I don't normally have the time or ability to sit and type. Reading posting each day helps me a lot as I can relate to so many of the situations. I wish I could post more. This legal issue has been a major stressor for years
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