I'm 69. My sister requested my Will, POA, be her Christmas present this year. She's taking me to the attorney Tuesday. Any suggestions?

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I don't have much to deal with but I certainly don't want her to have problems to deal with when I'm done. We're in Florida.


BTW--this will not be her only Christmas present, but I DO plan to wrap it in a large box with a huge bow. Or maybe I'll put it at the end of a scavenger hunt.


I once had to introduce an Elder Attorney at a church dinner. I did that by remembering the Bible text where Jesus, on the cross, provided for his mother. I told the group that if they wanted to make sure they had done all they could to provide for their loved ones, then they needed to be sure they understood the laws here in Florida. (Most were snowbirds, having homes up north, and in Florida).


But even so, I have definitely dragged my feet to take care of my own Will, POA, etc. My sister asked me why that was yesterday. I still don't have that answer, but I'm going Tuesday all the same!! Sometimes it takes something as ludicrous as the idea of a Last Will and Testament being a Christmas Present.

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Thanks for your thoughts and concerns. I have complete trust in my younger and healthy sister. When cancer first reared its diagnosis in 2007 and again in 2008, through 4 years of surgeries and treatments, she has been my rock with all things that needed to be managed, because I couldn't add 5 + 6. Well, I could, but I didn't come up with 11. I can do math again now, even multiply, divide, and write checks properly.

She is taking me to the attorney because it is too big of a journey for me to drive right now (surgery is a week away). I don't expect her to be in the room with us but I'd welcome her. She has been my valuable memory lately on many occasions-- like at the meeting with the surgeon, taking notes and asking questions of him.

The attorney is an Elder attorney, as you suggested, and there is no husband in the picture. Just sister, mother, and charities I'm already attached to. BTW--I trust mother also, but she is almost 93. I think she's in better health than me, but we're both at the spot where you just can't predict who will die first.

I had not thought ahead to the What IFs, if something happens to sister before me. She travels a lot for her work, all over the world. So I guess I DO need to handle that quickly. Yes, all of her papers are in order.

And we have had the discussions and are in agreement about me being an organ/tissue donor if any parts will help anyone, AND with DNR, unless it will enable the harvesting. She is already beneficiary on everything that can have one. I just need to take care of car and property, I think.

So after all this rambling, I suppose I need to discuss this with the second POA name??? And here is where I think my problem lies, because I have no idea who I would trust with that outside of my family. Pastor, possibly, but she will be retiring within a year and moving away.

I hear you, and your concern about my welfare. I have observed those horror stories also. And if I had any other family members still alive, I would be worried also. I am certain that whoever dies first, the other 2 will be working hard to support each other, because that is what we have been doing for the last 25 years. I just need to get things legal, so there is no question with the government or a hospital.
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Reply to Bravelute
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I think that is a wonderful idea your sister had.
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Reply to mlface
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First, I would talk about my will privately with the Lawyer. I heard years ago not to disclose the contents of your will to anyone that way they can be mad at you after u pass not before.

With POAs make sure they stipulate that the person who is assigned cannot use the power unless a doctor signs off you are not competent to handle your own finances or health decisions. There have been horror stories on this forum where an assignee has jumped the gun. Check and make sure that POA has the right to write checks without having to be put on your checking acct. This is where the horror story started. My Moms Medical POA read like a living will. Make sure the Lawyer explains to both of you what a POA entails. That sister is not to abuse it by personally using money for her own benefit. If she does, it will effect you being able to get Medicaid and other services.

Believe me dealing with Moms stuff was so much easier with a POA. Having a will keeps the state away. Just remembered, ask to see if documents can be done on 8 1/2 x 11 in paper. The 8 1/2 x 14 makes it so hard to get copies when using a home copier. I had to find a Xerox where I could shrink my copy down to the 8 x 11 size. I had to send copies to business and other places and it was so much easier using my home copier. I wish the legal profession and death certicate people would realize that the 8x14 is hard to copy.
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Sendhelp Jul 21, 2018
JoAnn,
Does not disclosing the contents of your will include not telling your husband?
Do you think?
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My thoughts exactly, Cmagnum!
It is important to have a will, and even more important to trust the person with the POA.
If sister is looking out for you, that is great.
If sister is pushing to become POA and trustee of your will, is this a red flag?
You will know by knowing her for many years, and making wise decisions with the help of a good NAELA certified elder law attorney.
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You really don't have to give your will to her for it's yours. Just tell her where it is.

Depending on your sister's age and health, make sure you put down someone you trust to be the secondary medical and durable POA in case she is not able to do her role. Also, you don't have to give POA to her or even both POAs to her if you have someone you trust more than her.
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