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I have been sole POA for 5 years, 4 Medicaid apps, constantly shifting caregivers due to my brothers alcoholic acting out (he & my mother own the house together), culminating in an emergency move to a nursing home when brother threatened to burn down the house & aides left. I want sister to take over financial management, but she says she can’t from 350 miles away. I believe she can, because it requires little in-person work at this point - can be done by mail, phone, fax, internet.


How do I show her how much work I’ve done? She seems to think it is easy.

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The only problem is, if neither your mother or brother is capable to assigning POA to your sister, she cannot make any binding financial decisions for them. No facility, including banks or health care facility, can accept her signature or decisions as legal. You’d still have to do the work and signing.

it sounds like sis is just loathe to participate in any way. You can tell her you’re hiring a financial person to help and their fee will come out of any funds of Mom and brother’s. If she accepts that, then do it.
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You can't transfer your power of attorney to your sister.

Technically, your mother could - but if your sister doesn't want the job then it would make no sense at all for your mother to appoint her.

You'd better get legal advice (which you can pay for with your mother's money, because it is solely for the purpose of organising her affairs) about how best to resign your POA and/or make alternative arrangements.

And if your mother's property is tied up with your brother's, you're going to need legal advice on how to sort this out in any case.

Your sister seems to be a fine illustration of the maxim that "ignorance is bliss." But forcing her to become better informed, and making her miserable alongside you, is not going to help your stress levels. Moreover, bringing a new person on board is going to create endless potential for misunderstandings and breakdowns in communication - it'd just make more problems than you'd solve.

I should ask around - APS, the NH, your Area Agency on Aging, even personal recommendations - and find a reputable lawyer with experience of elder care.
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You have POA. It is within your power to hire someone to help you. You can go to the American Association of Daily Money Managers (AADMM.COM) website to find a Daily Money Manager who works with seniors near you. Some Daily Money Managers also work remotely. It is oftentimes good to have a third party handle some of the financial and administrative issues of caring for a loved one. It takes the emotional strain out of it.
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chdottir Dec 2018
Thanks for the info on Daily Money Managers. I had been trying to figure out who provided these types of services, and now I know what to search for.
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You cannot force her to help. You cannot assign Financial POA to her either.

It sounds like she has set her boundaries. She knows that your brother will mess things up and wants no part of it.

If your Mum is still in the nursing home and on Medicaid, how much financial management is needed?
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I take care of all my father’s paperwork and I live over 700 miles away in a different state. My brother deals with him personally. I want nothing to do with my father on a personal level but wish him no ill will. My brother has no idea how to deal with all of the medical and financial paperwork and I am happy to do it. It helps my brother out a lot and I don’t have to deal with my father. It works out just fine for us but we both agreed to do it this way.
If your sister doesn’t want to deal with your mother in person then this a great solution. All financial issues I set up online. I manage all my father’s health care via phone calls with the staff at the assisted living center and the psychiatric hospital he has been admitted to more than once. I’ve not spoken to him in over ten years. The social worker I deal with at the ASL has been very helpful.
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rovana Dec 2018
Thanks for your post. You have adopted a very sensible way of sharing the load!
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Thank you everyone for all the helpful feedback. I’m sorry to not reply earlier, but a series of setbacks in my health have kept me away until now. Sis is named as back-up POA. I am writing & sending POA resignation this weekend. Yes, Mom is in NH & not much left to do compared with all the bills & medicaid waiver apps I’ve done for her & my Dad, but I am burnt out & need to let someone else take over even that little.
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Good for you! You must take care of you.
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You can't make anyone change the way they are. Some people are just selfish and won't do anything that does not benefit them in some way. You have been a saint where most would have walked away already. Plus the POA can only be assigned by the person in need. As POA you can assign duties to others, but not financial authority. Maybe you need a case manager but they will need to be paid.

Do you need,to walk away from the situation and just be a visitor to your LO? Since your LO has had 4 medicaid apps, it appears to me that LO is out of funds. Is your LO is already in a nursing home on Medicaid? Why is it that you want to lay down this duty? Is it just to get your sister to participate in care? Who is named as backup POA?
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You are sole POA. Is your sister even listed on the POA document as your backup in the event that something happens to you?
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well your sister is 100% right. She can't 350 miles away, and you cannot force her to. What you can do is see an eldercare attorney about the possibility of getting a court-appointed legal guardian since you want to dissolve yours.
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aannie Dec 2018
I would be very careful with getting a court appointed legal guardian. Once in place, the legal guardian takes precedence over anyone else, including the POA.
The legal guardian is overseen by the court and the POA may find themselves in conflict with the choices the legal guardian makes.
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Well, the one thing is the house. If Mom is on Medicaid none of her money can go to the house. SS and any pension goes to the NH to offset her care. If there is 2k or less in her acct after spend down, that can only be used for her. So that leaves brother with keeping up the house. All upkeep, utilities and taxes. The NH can be made payee for her SS and any pension. If she has any debts, they cannot be paid since her money can not be used for this. So, where is the financial responsibility? The nh provides Depends and toiletries. Even does laundry. You just visit.
You are not responsible for her debts.
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