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My parents are primary POA for each other and have each appointed me as secondary POA. This is for both durable medical & durable financial POA. Who should have a copy of the POA? Their doctors? Their bank & lenders? Their creditors & utilities? The VA? My siblings?
I would prefer to be prepared if and when something happens where I am needed to act as POA and not need to prove it after something happens.

I am a Power of Attorney to two people. If I should pass, there is an eldercare attorney who will assume the Power of Attorney duty. I make sure - about every two years - that EVERY SINGLE PERSON/ACCOUNT/COMPANY that has any connection with my two clients gets an updated letter stating I am STILL the Power of Attorney. And, I offer them a copy of my POA if they don't have it in their current system. In other words, everyone will know I am the POA, etc. I do this also with everything new that crosses their paths. This is most important - EVERYONE - N O W.
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Reply to Riley2166
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If you are secondary you need not work until either parent has to take over as POA as the other. Then go with that parent when they are implementing it (usually have to have document gone over in Lawyer's office when you become ACTING POA). Also accompany your parent when you are able for banking and so on, and have yourself listed as secondary. If anything happens to the remaining parent to the extent they cannot carry forward in their duties you will likely have to go to get the POA again. I am assuming here that neither parent is currently ACTING as POA, that is to say handling all the family financial stuff. Might be worth a check in for an hour with an Elder Care Attorney to make sure all papers are in order.
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I would like to add to my comment about POA's below. If the people in any way worked for the U.S. Government, the government does NOT accept POA's. You must immediately contact the government's personnel department and start the paperwork to be a "Government Payee" for the patients. It is basically the same as a POA but there are some slight differences. This is very important to have in place before something happens
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I have two friends who are POA's and Executrixes. I have made sure that every single doctor, every business, credit card companies, everyone - all have a copy of my POA on file if my two friends need to contact them. I am also a POA for two people and I made sure every single contact dealing with them in any way has my POA on file now. Do it now - everyone.
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sassyisie Jul 5, 2019
I made sure everyone in the heath departments such as hospitals,nursinghome,Dr — also bills that have to be paid such as electricity,gas/ propane ,water bill, etc
I always keep copies on hand for future use!
I am poa of my older sister who has no family but me!
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If your parents have a trust as well as simple accounts and so on, be certain that their trusts also have a document saying they wish you to serve as trustee of trust if they are unable. I recently took over as power of attorney and trustee of trust for my brother. WHO needs the copies is NOT the problem. The problem is getting the lawyer to draw up the proper papers to serves your being able to do your duties. Let us say you do not need to be made trustee of trust, and only need POA. OK. That is easier done with the lawyer if parents are of sound enough mind to go with you and sign you up as POA or for the lawyer to visit them in hospital. They don't have to be perfect for most lawyers, but have to indicate they know what they are doing in turning over everything to you to handle. If not you must go through further steps, gathering the opinions of one or more doctors and appearing in court;the papers would indicate that it is time for you to assume their management duties as they are unable to do so. I will tell you I get easily anxious, but this was, despite my brother's good organization and everything in its place, and his ability to act in appointing me, a three month trek that freaked me out (often with little reason). Be certain NOW that you know where EVERYTHING is, so it will be easier. As to who needs copies, that is the very least of it. I have found charge cards, utilities, insurance companies, gardeners, rental space collectors are easy. Just tell them where to send the bills and they will do it; they basically care that the bills are paid with little caring of who pays them. It is horrible to try to get info from hospitals, from doctors, re bills, mostly because they farm out to 3rd agent billers now rather than inhouse. The thing you need to know is that anyone NEEDING a copy will ask you for it. So have copies available. I have never needed certified copies. So when you have the power of attorney in hand (never give up the original) after having it done in lawyer's office, you will have to send a copy to whomever asks for it. Easy enough with extra postage. Start now with all the infor you can gather, all the phone numbers in one dedicated phone book of anyone they deal with, a file box with files for all bill paying. Ask them about their monthly costs, etc. Ask about their wishes. As their fiduciary you are responsible for excellent letters and proof of payment; make copies of all checks you pay anything on and all bills. You will be responsible for taxes. My brother's things at 86 are relatively easy to handle. I started in Feb and now, in June, am finally comfortable but worry about the next person to take this on, my own daughter, when/if something happens to me before my brother. There are good books out there, but they are way too complicated and take you into being executor of an estate before you have to go there, just ratchet up the anxiety. You have to sign checks in a particular way; banks will guide you through those questions. Sorry to tell you I wish it were not my job. However, a paid fiduciary often charges 90.00 an hour in my state minimally, and there is no family control over investment and so on to protect things. Want to wish you good luck for the when and if of it all. Elder law attorney can help answer questions if you need to go there, and the estate pays for that advice. Social security is something else. Unless the person is not of sound mind they still have to direct what account funds are put into unless a trust account. They will guide you through. As I said it is anxiety provoking as it is something you are not familiar with doing, but you will learn quick. Encourage them to do their banking in your own town and not online. Makes it SO MUCH EASIER. You are wise to think ahead.
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It is very important for you to know that the VA DOES NOT recognize civilian POAs. Their equivalent is a "fiduciary". I ran into that with my spouse who has ischemic dementia. After a tedious process, the VA declared me 'Fiduciary". So if your veteran receives any kind of disability compensation you would have to consider that. This step is unnecessary if no VA compensation is involved, other than burial benefit. I received an unexpected call three months after my husband's disability rating was increased. When I objected - been married to him 47 years, caregiver for last ten - I was told that if I didn't cooperate VA would suspend benefits until they had appointed a fiduciary. As a spouse, I didn't have to have a criminal background and was able to keep VA benefits deposited to the same account. In non-spousal situation, a custodial account would need to be established. I know this may sound convoluted to the non-initiated individual, but it's best addressed before VA steps in and appoints a fiduciary, if they deem is necessary, to protect the veteran's income. In the end, it's been helpful because I now have an additional document from VA clearly stating that hey've found him incompetent to handle his own affairs. While it appears inconvenient to have to produce all the documentation required, one has to recognize that the goal is to protect the veteran. When the VA regional representative visited us to complete the fiduciary process, I was shocked to hear some to the situations he had personally ran into, from his involvement in the closure of a nearby nursing home for their unethical and abusive handling of VA patients, to a veteran he found locked up in his basement, while family caregivers were off enjoying a vacation on his benefits. So while I was initially perturbed to have to document all of my spouse's financials (absolutely every monthly incoming and outgoing) it certainly made sense in light of those stories that the veteran's best interest would have to be a concern. None of this may be of interest if your father doesn't receive monthly VA benefits, but it may help another reader. A good place to start investigating what needs to be done vis-a-vis theVA is your state local VA office. In my state, these are in most large cities. Run by the state, but staffed with retired veterans whose only function is to help veterans and their loved ones navigate through applying for benefits and compensation. That's where I started to get my husband's rating increased as it was clear he was declining and wouldn't be able to take that step on his own. The individual I dealt with was very helpful and I am very grateful for his guidance and the resulting increase in benefits. Beyond POA, you should consider AMD (Advance Medical Directive.) This document specifically addresses end of life preferences. Not the same as a Living Will, a document "with loopholes large enough to drive a hearse through it" as our Elder Care Lawyer stated. I definitely recommend the services of an Elder Care lawyer. Best of luck to you,
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Reply to gaknitter
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For right now, give their primary care doctor(s) a copy. More importantly, make sure that it is notarized.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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First, take that 14 in long POAs and have the shrunk to fit 8 1/2 to 11 in. Makes it so much easier to copy from home printers.

I wouldn't worry about giving anyone a copy till needed. I had one on file at the local hospital, doctors and the bank. I wouldn't worry about utilities until you need to make changes. I still had Moms bills coming to her home because someone was living there. I was on her checking account but not as POA. I did have to cash in CDs and thats when the bank wanted a copy. What I would do, is have ur parents call the utility cos. and creditors and have u down as a contact if bills aren't paid and someone who can talk to them. This way, u don't have to supply a POA. The VA is a good idea too. You may want to have parents put u on HIPPA forms.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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All of the above with the exception of your siblings. Unless your sibs demand to see a copy of the paperwork. Otherwise all those you mentioned above will need copies of your POA papers. You'll also need to be added to your parents back accounts as well.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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Having your parents set up a Trust is also important. Making sure all of their assets are put in the name of the Trust makes it so much easier once they pass. The Trustee can then submit the necessary forms for life insurance policies, cash out CD’s and other funds, move around monies in checking/savings as needed (which also can be done as POA, before someone dies).

I was so grateful for the wise instruction of a financial planner who helped me get my parents’ accounts correctly identified as Trust Accounts. We gathered a list of every account they had and worked through them to be sure they were correctly labeled. Be sure to check on the house, too. We sold my parents’ house after my mom passed, but while my dad was still living. When we arrived at the closing, I was handed a check for my deceased mom and one for my dad—surprise, the house had not been listed and placed into my Dad’s Trust after Mom passed. I had no major problems putting the funds into my dad’s bank account, but it was a little unnerving to be handed that check.

While many accounts can be updated online, there will be times when you’ll have to submit certified forms or take in the actual documents for an institution to copy into their own files. It really does make life much easier when you address this up front before your loved ones are needing more of your own attention.

I always carried copies of the HIPPA forms, my parents POA forms, and a list of current medications that I could grab when heading to doctors, ER's, or hospitals. It made it easier for me to have this to hand to the appropriate people especially in an emergency situation (which most people can expect when caring for an elderly loved one).

Also, getting help from an Elder Law Attorney is extremely beneficial. It will help to keep you accountable in case siblings want to complain. There are some financial items that you as POA/Trustee are not required to communicate with your siblings while your parents are living. You can share some financial balances, expenses, etc., but they do not need to know specific account numbers, etc. You have the fiduciary responsibility to keep your loved ones private information and account numbers safe.

There are numerous books that can help with valuable information. One book I appreciated was PLEASE DON’T DIE, BUT IF YOU DO, WHAT DO I DO NEXT? by Kurt Grube (also comes as a Kindle edition).
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Marykk Jun 22, 2019
A Trust is definitely the way to go. Just set up my mom's. It eliminates so much paperwork after your loved one's passing.
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I am the DPOA and Executor for my mom. I just sent a text message to my siblings and made copies for her doctors, bank, and etc. I also keep a copy of signatures with me in case it is needed. If they want more then I will produce whatever they want. Only problem I've had is cashing in one of her annuities to help keep her in assisted living. They insisted on all of the t's crossed and the i's dotted. But it got done. Mom's whole retirement has gone for her care in assisted living. She's 89. I encouraged her to go into assisted living after dad passed away. I have about 8 more months of money to cover her expenses and then I'll have to figure out what is the best route after that. Maybe I've had it easier than most families when it comes to this POA stuff. My brothers are glad it's me doing it and my sister is only angry because I moved mom from PA (where they all live, but didn't visit her) to Florida where she is 3 miles from me. It is easier as I can stay on top of her care with her close to me.
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Jada824 Jun 22, 2019
at least you keep all your siblings informed which I think is the proper thing to do. Some are so secretive than you know they’re doing something unscrupulous. It sounds to me like you’re doing a great job!
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First of all, kudos to you! You're being proactive and putting plans in place before you actually need them. Knowing what "the plan is" relieves a lot of stress when you have to actually put it into play.

You need to have the original copy of these forms. No institution will accept your "copy of the copy". Talk to doctors, banks, and lenders about the POA. They will probably make their own copies of your original for their files. Now is a good time to "know" your parents' financial business and get things set up for the "just in case" scenarios.

After you and your parents - together - have dealt with the "business" aspects, share the plan with your family members. They should be well aware of the arrangements so there will be no arguments when you have to act on the plans.
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Reply to Taarna
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Get every bank and financial account number, every bill and utility, contacts for every doctor and specialist. Create online log-ins for all. Create auto-pay for bills. If you do it now before a serious emergency, it will already be in place when you need it. Also, if you create log-ins for accounts, that means a dishonest paid caregiver or handyman cannot.
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Reply to Beekee
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You should not assume that a Durable power of attorney will be accepted by medical professionals to give you the authority to make medical decisions. Each state has their own statutes regarding these matters and you should consult an attorney. Many hospitals have their own medical permission forms that if your parent is competent when checked in make sure to get it signed.
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Reply to LindaBoone
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As noted by previous postings the POA form is needed when a parent is unable to address their own affairs. We began using the POA after a diagnosis of moderate dementia was made and confirmed by testing. I have provided the forms to all health care facilities/providers, utilities, banks, life insurance, investments, etc. Some such as the investment company had their own form that needed to be submitted, but most accepted the attorney's form.
POAs do need to be updated. For example, while my step-father was joint POA with my mother, when he died, we had the POA form updated to indicate myself and another sibling. My sibling is also on the bank account now as an owner. There are other aspects of estate planning that we wish we could have accomplished but such as changing the ownership of mother's house.In any case, because there are five children, this action was shared with all. I make a point of conferring with my co-POA about major decision and emailing the group of siblings so they will be informed and can if need share their concerns. I would advise checking in with an attorney in your state to make sure that you are aligned with any specific state laws.
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Judysai422 Jun 22, 2019
Being on a bank account as an owner is a BAD idea. Our attorney told us that in the case either party is sued, anyone on the bank account can be a target. So, if your sibling gets in an accident and is sued, they can get your parent's money and vice versa. It is better to be on the account as POA. Same could be true of creditors.
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I’m not sure that you need to do anything unless and until the remaining parent becomes unable to attend their own affairs.

My mother is POA of my father w/me secondary, and I’m POA to her. As far as I know, there is nothing to be done by me with respect to either because the condition precedent (their respective incapacities) has not come to pass.

Are your parents both incapacitated right now?
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Reply to Slekker
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Pushing this up so hopefully more response.
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You are wise to check into this before it is needed.

Social Security has their own form as do some banks. Would folks be willing to add you as POA to their accounts. Some banks and financial institutions have their own processes and forms and procedures. I imagine the VA may have its own form as well.

Get certified copies, some will not accept photocopies. The POA's should be on file with every doctor, dentist, hospital that they may visit. What about utility companies? Any place that they conduct business with regularly.

Siblings, depends on how the folks want this done. It could be it would open the can of worms, dysfunction is they are notified. But, it may save hurt and decrease questions and stress later.
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Judysai422 Jun 22, 2019
You are very accurate. Our attorney had us do the same thing. My parents have all their financial accounts with Fidelity...there was a tremendous amount of paperwork. Same for other institutions.
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