She cannot sign or understand.

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I have to agree with jeannegibbs, unfortunately the time for obtaining a POA is past.

If there are financial matters to deal with you'll have to get guardianship. An elder law attorney would be the person to contact. Beware: it's pricey at about $8,000.

My dad's financial affairs were fairly straightforward however I couldn't make a move on his behalf without POA. Your mom will need an agent to act on her behalf unless she's lucky like Jeanne's mom with no financial matters to speak of.

This is a great site for information on the subject.
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You can't. The person authorizing an agent to act on their behalf has to be able to understand what they are going.

Guardianship is another way to be able to act on your mother's behalf. That must be assigned by a court. Go to the search box on the upper right of this page and look for the articles about guardianship.

Mom is in a NH. Does she have a lot of financial affairs to be taken care of? Are there conflicts among her relatives about what is best for her?

Our mother never did assign a POA. At 94 and with dementia she is now in a nursing home. While I and my 3 sisters sincerely wish she had taken care of that detail, we are not having any issues about caring for her without that POA or Medical Proxy. My mother has zero financial affairs to take care of, though, and that probably makes a difference.
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