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I would really like it if my mom would sign some kind of papers in the event something happens to her I can take over her financial obligations, and medical decisions. Not sure how to discuss this with her. Don't want her to feel bad or take it wrong. I just know how important it is to have things in place. I'm only 35, and have my affairs in order for my son if something was to happen to me before he is 18, and there after as well. It just makes sense. Will a document hold legal merit if I just fill out a sheet of paper, we both sign it, and just have it notarized? Sure would be a lot easier, and she'd be more likely to just do that, and not continue to put it off. I want it to place me in charge of her medical decisions as well so I can make the best choices for her, and also support her wishes. Anyone have any tips, info., or advice on this topic to share please? I'm the type of person who likes to have things in order, and in place for "just in case". However we all need it at some point. Don't get why some people won't discuss these things. Thanks a bunches!

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I keep hearing that about the state coming in but I've never seen it happen; my fil didn't have a will and it didn't happen; however when the property was divided up and we were given our deed, it was the only property basically that there was an already recorded to that had been signed by the man who'd owned it's widow whose name wasn't on the prior deed and he didn't have a will so yes, we were told that she didn't actually have legal authority to sign the deed but she said she didn't know what she was signing anyway and that their kids had actually gotten a percentage and should have had to sign the deed as well and they hadn't; turns out they had actually intended to take him to court but just hated to put their mother through the humiliation of having to say she didn't know what she was doing and now she's passed away anyway but this one daughter who took care of everything won't sign the deed; she's saying the property never was paid for anyway, so...what a mess
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Kellyb: You don't want the estate to go through probate.
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Mom needed to redo her will after Dad died. At the time we did her POAs. If there is no will, the state will come in and value the property and take a percentage when the assets are sold. Then u have to go to court to determain who is the person who should inherit. If there is a wife and children the wife only gets a percentage. The children re considered closest living relatives not the wife. A will makes everything so much simplier.
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You should locate an estate attorney. My brother is one. Where do you live?
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Kelly i wrote a series of posts at palcaregivers called the three documents every adult over 18 should have. Perhaps it would help to have mom read them. They are very easy to understand and so important. Case in point a friend of mine has a nephew young in his 30s who set up his sister as his POA just incase. Sure enough a few years ago he was in a bad motorcycle accident. He was unable to manage on his own so his sister stepped in with the legal athority he gave her years before. This saved him from his greedy parents who wanted his settlement money. He is no safe and secure because he planned ahead at a young age. People should not wait to prepare these documents. They are so important and can be changed later in life if circumstances change. Convo me if you have more questions. Ruth Anne
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I agree with Deb; thank you for providing the update and your general plans. And best wishes for you and your mother.
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Kelly, don't think I've seen anybody come on here and provide closure like that - very nice - how old are your parents?
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Thank you for all the suggestions, I do take them all very serious, and to heart. I will definitely see about getting legal paperwork by/attorney, Its best to have things like this for the good of everyone involved. So all, and all it's worth the convincing to get parent to hop on board. If I did have (living) siblings I'd definitely consult with them first, but Its only me. I'm the one who has always done it. I wouldn't change anything really, but I'd like some days to just be a little less stressful like the rest of us:) Best wishes All, Kelly
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GardenArtist, I absolutely agree about informing siblings of a will or legal issues regarding parent, However my only sibling killed himself in 2007, so I can't exactly give him a call, But thanks.
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where do I keep missing these things? where does Kelly say her mom already has Alzheimer's?
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Kelly, it's great that you are doing this now. Look for an opening to get the subject into the conversation. Lots of parents will occasionly make comments about not wanting to be a burden to anyone. Good point Ma.....Ya know what you could do for me........

I got all the wills and POA s done with my folks just in the nick of time. My Dad began developing dementia about a year later and would have never agreed to anything at that point. Don't delay.
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Kelly, if your budget is tight for the legal, check around to see if the local legal community offers a "free" or pro bono night at a community center. Here they offer a free evening once a month in our local library. Maybe worth looking into.
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Babalou, I just read that book,,,,good for any of us to read. Had it in the new book section at the library. This would also be a good read for people whose parents hoard or will not get rid of anything.....

This book is a bit of "balm for the soul"...about controlling parents that really never thought of their only daughter as an adult. Worth finding.
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Kelly, do it now. You say your mom has alzheimer's/dementia. In the event something happens to her has already arrived because there is a time when one cannot legally execute those documents, then you may need a guardianship or conservator through the courts. Start now, download a general POA and a medical P.O.A., then go to her house with a notary (best if they know her) and persuade her to sign it. Does she have a lawyer? Call.
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Kelly, one way I got my parents to update their Wills, Power of Attorneys, etc. was to tell my Dad that because of new State laws if your Will isn't update with the correct wording, the State could take half your estate. That perked up my Dad's ears big time :)
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Get your mom a copy of the book "can't we talk about something more pleasant ? " by Roz Chast. A cautionary tale about what happens when you don't plan. Also very funny.
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So true. Each state has their own requirements for legal documents. Once you really need them, if there is a mistake, it's too late. Have it done properly by an attorney. They will provide them with a form of questions so they can properly advise them of their best options.
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Kelly, I forgot to add that if you prepared the document and witnessed it, it would likely be considered invalid. Best get it done properly by an estate planning or elder law attorney.
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Don't try to do it yourself. I see well meaning people do this and later, when they need the document, there is a problem they had no way of knowing because they are lay persons. It's too important. Shop around and get someone reasonable. It's worth it.

If you can't think of a way to bring it up, just say that someone at work suggested it because they heard of a terrible thing that happened to someone who didn't have their affairs in order. I think a little white fib is okay for the greater good. Tell them it would make you sleep better knowing all was taken care of for the future. This would include, Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare POA, HIPAA releases, Will, etc. They may even want to see an Elder Law Estate attorney if they have resources they want to protect.
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Kelly, do you have any siblings, and if so, are they on board with your plans? Since you want the authority, I think it would be a good idea to make sure the siblings are in agreement, as too often these kinds of family issues can cause a lot of friction and resentment.

As to your question about a will being legal if you filled "out a sheet of paper", you both signed it and it was notarized, the answer is absolutely not. That is not a legal or binding will.
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Open the discussion by leaving a copy of your will with them. Then ask if they have one and if so, where is it kept? If not, ask them to discuss it and make a lawyer appt. You may even have to offer to pay for it, if they are weird about finances. Explain that a medical and financial POA makes sense so that you could take care of them if they were ever in a bad car accident or something.

Good luck to you.
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