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Caring for my 89 yo mother who broke her neck and had a severe concussion three years ago. I believe she has beginning dementia as a result of the concussion. After eight months of healing and therapy I brought her from Ohio to live with me in California as she needed help with all ADL's. I am the only surviving child.


I have worked over the years to become her advocate in healthcare, Social Security and Medicare. The last thing is her bank account, which is a part of the Living Trust she created many years ago.


I am designated as the Executrix, and have POA for medical and financial. I sent a copy of the POA for financial to the bank so I can handle the account for her, as she is not able to do so any longer.


The bank manager called me to let me know that, because the account is part of the Trust, the financial POA is not sufficient and I need to have an addendum drawn up by an attorney, that would give me access to the account.


I had to retire to take care of mom and our finances are limited to our Social Security and very small pensions. Therefore, I am unable to afford an attorney at this time, as we are already struggling financially.


Any suggestions would be welcome!!

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You will need a lawyer regardless, the bank is not going to accept documents printed off the internet and notarized. What the bank wants and requires, as you already know, must come from an attorney. Contact your local area on aging, they will have info on legal assistance for seniors. Have you asked the attorney who drafted the trust how much he will charge for this?
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SandyB66 May 25, 2019
Hi worriedinCali - thanks, I appreciate all the information that you have provided!!
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I just had to do POA and Trustee of Living Trust for and with my brother. There are, at least in California TWO separate documents. One gives you POA and one makes you Trustee of the Trust, meaning you handle it completely. Your mother would have to be adjudged to be competent to make the decision before a Lawyer. That doesn't mean she can't have some dementia, it simply means she is competent to know she is signing over her ability to be Trustee on the Living Trust and she is assigning YOU to do it. That means also that you will be operating under two documents. As it is YOUR MOM doing this, then it means that with POA SHE can pay for it out of her funds. If your Mom is in no way competent to make this decision (she could withdraw the decision at any time; my brother did this so I could do his financial affairs, relieving him of it, and for an uncertain future with a diagnosis of Lewy's Bodies. ) then this must be done by a lawyer and through the courts; this would mean a judgement that you are assigned because your mother is no longer competent to make the decision. The bill in California for just doing it WITHOUT the court is already about 3,000.00 so can't imagine cost with a court. However, at times this can be, I am told, easy and quick. Neither the Trust nor your POA allow you to recoup funds after the fact, so all you are spending now cannot be returned easily, and I suggest you jump on it right away. Most books I found to be confusing in the extreme. For a few months this is all messy and confusing, but it soon becomes as easy as the POA. I wish you so much good luck. It is an anxious time. Remember, you do need a Lawyer, but if your Mom is competent and understands what you are doing together, this can be not difficult.
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SandyB66 May 25, 2019
Thanks, AlvaDeer!!! I will check on this right away.
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Try Legal Zoom, or just do a Google Search for Resignation of Trustee and your State; if you have patience with the search results, you will find a free form. It's a one paragraph form, and then your mother signs, and also 2 witnesses, and also needs a notary. Most important is that the document references the trust, and that you are the successor trustee, and that the current trustee desires to resign and have you, the successor trustee, become the trustee immediately upon signing, and then make sure to have your mother sign, and, to be redundant, because I already wrote this, two witnesses and have it notarized.

But that's Florida law. All I know about.

If you find the right state form, you should be able to go to your bank, or even the local UPS store which where I live always has a notary there, and get it notarized. Only issue is that your mother has to be present to have it notarized.
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SandyB66 May 25, 2019
Thanks!! That is very helpful and I think that is my best bet! Again, thank you so much!
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Hi Daughter1954 - thanks for you answer. My mother is the Trustee, and I am the Successor Trustee. I understand that I need an attorney to draft something. My issue is the cost for an attorney, which we do not have at this time. We are currently in a financial bind and I was wondering what other options there might be for "free" services to assist with this issue. Thanks again!
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Banks are very strict. Everywhere.

You may be the POA, but that does not make you the trustee of the living trust. Who is the trustee of the living trust? If it is still your mom, then does the trust say who will be the successor trustee? If the successor trustee is you, then you need to have an attorney draft a short resignation of trustee that your mother signs and you have notarized and states that you are immediately the trustee because you were the stated successor trustee.
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