I got a POA form filled in and gave it to my lawyer to proceed with, then my mother became a bit more incapable. Any way I can fix this?

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I phoned lawyer to let him know and he told me my letters no use as I need Drs. signature also but he didn't tell me this at the time or I could've got it done. What am I to do now as I'm left with mother and dealing with her bills etc? Is there a way I can fix this? Help!

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Oh shooby, I'm so sorry. Be good to yourself!
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shooby Jul 20, 2018
Thankyou marcia7321 this is so hard
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Thanks all for your kind concern i dont have to worry about the situation as my mum passed away 06.30am 19th july 😢💖
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I have learned from other posts that you are in Scotland. So most of us here in the states across the pond have no idea what your laws and procedures are.

I have found it very helpful for all of my bills in Florida to be paid automatically. I check the list online at the beginning of the month and again make a weekly quick check. My sister, who is younger and will become my POA when needed, checks on that on line also, as I have her on all my banking accounts now. Once in a while I'll need to make an adjustment regarding to maximum to allow to be paid when fees go up, but that's not very often.

I'm hoping this will make it easier for her to manage bill payment when the time comes.

I also volunteer at a few assisted living facilities and see some residents having difficulty getting the cash they need. I think the ease of payment through paypal will make it easier to take care of Christmas presents etc. when I can no longer drive.

I don't know if this type of management is available to you, but I'd look into it.

And one more comment about whether it should be the doctor or the attorney in charge of the POA. Doctors manage health. Attorneys manage legal matters. Doctors aren't trained in law, though they have certainly been involved in these legal management issues when they know the time is right. And Attorneys are trained in the laws of your country. We wouldn't expect them to know when it's time for someone to manage your affairs for YOU. I think you need to see this as a venture where the MEDICAL meets the LEGAL somewhere along this adventure of life. There must be some point where the expertise of both meets in the middle.
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Not taking the time to read other responses at this point, but here where I am in the US I've been led to believe the banking system rarely looks at signatures.   So, theoretically, you could sign off on checks for bill paying and the bills will still be paid; also here a good number of places have the capacity to let you pay over the phone.  You just punch the checking account number in and it's all taken care of and will show up on the checking account statement as well.  Because my mother with dementia will often get the mail/bills and throw them out, I used the payment coupon when sending payment in and changed the mailing address to her name c/o my PO BOX; I also added my parents names to the PO BOX at the post office.  Usually on those coupons there's a spot to update the address (so they can hunt you down if they want:-).  I must say that worked well...until this week when suddenly Dad's credit card statement arrived at the house.  Mom got it and threw it out, but luckily he's gotten into the habit of checking the trash.  THe company refused to chat with me, and when I requested a supervisor I learned it could be resolved by writing a statement signed by dad with his giving them permission to discuss his account with me and to mail his statements to the PO box, and then faxing that to the company.  You also might be able to be added to her checking account at the bank, and then the POA is not probably required, although I would do that sooner rather than later.  If we're lucky, things stay the same and don't get worse...but as they often do, it will be easier now to get the paperwork in order.
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Reply to robinr
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Look, y'all! Scooby said he or she lives in SCOTLAND. Unless we have legal experience with POAs there, we have no clue how to help.
To be snarky, do I have to point out that Scotland is not in the US? Unless it's only the name of a town, and that seems unlikely.
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Bravelute Jul 19, 2018
I've read and reread the title and question above from Shooby and I can't for the life of me find any mention of Scotland. But even if Shooby were from Timbuktu, surely all responses would be evaluated in light of wherever they lived?? Perhaps it would be wise if we ALL made mention of the place we're hailing from. Oh, I FINALLY figured out POA meant Power of Attorney and not Prisoner of Assisted Living. My username ought to be AgingmyselfX3. But it WOULD be helpful if abbreviations and/or anachronyms?? were spelled out, at least the first time they are used in a question or answer.

Does anyone else see SCOTLAND in the original post??
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I believe the short answer is that if the POA has language that specifies if and when a physician's signature is required, then you need to get it (the signature) in order for you as the Agent to gain control.

First, I couldn't tell by the question, but when you wrote that you "...got a POA form filled in..." did you mean that your Mother signed the form and that she did so with the proper witnesses? (Note: the witness process varies from state-to-state.)

If she did NOT sign it properly, then the POA is probably invalid, and you should consult with a lawyer on alternatives.

If she did sign it properly, then re-read the form looking for the language that determines when you, as the Agent, can take action.
I believe that in the California statutes, the language in the example Durable POA for FINANCES has pretty loose language on when the Agent can take control.

I recently made my Durable POA for HEALTHCARE so that there is language that specifies that my Attending Physician is to determine whether or not I can make my own decisions. At that point, my Agent could take control. I worked with my lawyer to develop clear language to communicate that these are my wishes. This language was above and beyond the example provided in the California statutes.

I am not an attorney. This is not legal advice.
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Reply to joemat
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I'm thinking these should be two different items. I used legal forms off internet and had her signing notarized by the notary at rehab facility she was in. I also videotaped it, just in case. Her bank wouldn't accept it so I had to take her down there to sign forms putting me on her acct. Then, I was able to pay bills. She was physically unable to take care of her needs, at the time, but not mentally. That came later.
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Reply to katiekat2009
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I live in scotland and it was my lawyer who said i needed drs signature. My mother can still speak although slightly confused at times i just dont understand how lawyer can say i need this when our dr never mentioned that we would need his signature
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Marcia7321 Jul 17, 2018
So to recap, your mom, in her right mind, said she wants you to have power over her decisions when she can't make them for herself. Then, she became incapable of making her own decisions. Now the lawyer is telling you that you need someone (the doctor) to confirm that your mother can't make decisions for herself so you can start acting for her.
He's not saying your mother's POA form is invalid. He's saying you need the doctor's confirmation that your mom is incompetent so you can activate it.
The doctor doesn't know whether or not you need verification of your mother's incompetence until you tell him or her that you need it. He's not a lawyer.
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Look on the signature page of the Durable Power of Attorney form. There should be some language telling you how/when the Power of Attorney becomes effective. I think a lot of people think that just having the form gives them the powers and it usually doesn't. It usually has language stating the circumstances under which the power of attorney becomes effective. You can't just walk into your parent's bank one day and have them honor your POA. You have to wait until your parent is legally incompetent.

We all sign these forms when we are perfectly capable of making decisions for ourselves. They are supposed to go into effect when you can't make your own decisions- not right away and not when the designated POA decides it should become effective.

I think lots of people are confused about this. People can still sign a POA after they have been diagnosed with dementia. (So your sibling could get your mom or dad to sign it over to them even with a diagnosis.) People with mild dementia can still be considered legally competent. If you want to start acting as the POA, you need to take steps to activate it. Until your POA is activated, your parent has the legal standing to make another decision on who should be POA.
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Unfortunately, unless the POA was written as a Durable POA, state law may require one or more medical professionals to sign off that the principal has become incapacitated for the POA to take effect.
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Marcia7321 Jul 17, 2018
I have a signed a Durable Power of Attorney form. It takes effect when a doctor has certified that I can no longer make my own decisions.
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