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PJ - if you are unable for whatever reasons to actively be a guardian for your 96 yr old mom, the court can appoint an outside guardian. Mom would become a "ward of the state" and really often family will find that going this route makes things easier as the guardian has all the day to day details of managing the elders care but family can still be family but without day to day responsibility. Often family does this as they themselves have health conditions, financial issues or other things that just don't leave time to deal with all things for the elder.
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Tx camper is absoluitely right, you need legal Guardian status. You petition the court and ask for the legal fees to be paid from Mom's funds.
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If she has severe Alzheimer's Disease, she will not be able to assign Power of Attorney to anyone. It is too late, as she needs to be aware of what she is doing and what she is signing. The Notary Public will ask her questions to ascertain her ability to understand.

At this point, if no one has Power of Attorney, your best bet would be to apply for guardianship in order for you to act on her behalf.
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