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Her POA says any and all banking. But say her IRA is not included. I can’t even hire an attorney to update her documents as she now has dementia. Help!

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Why can't you hire an attorney for help and advice? The fact that she has dementia is all the more reason why you need the input of an attorney. There are solutions and now you have to find them - please do not wait. And possibly you may have to apply for guardianship.
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Reply to Lockett2166
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Show the bank here doctors paperwork.that should help.... good luck
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Reply to Panhead
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I sympathize. The banks were a nightmare to deal with. After dealing with them for my in-laws, we brought my mom to each of her financial institutions and had her sign the paperwork they wanted so we would have it in addition to the Power of Attorney documents.

Friends have said that even if you do that, you have to keep them up to date because they have had banks refuse the paperwork because it was too old. I know they are trying to. protect their clients but...good grief! It's as if they want to make a bad time in your life even worse!
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Reply to Marcia732
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Where is her IRA held? If it is at an investment company, I believe they would have their own POA forms that they will write based on the wording in the one you have. If I recall, you would go to the company who holds her IRA and talk to her financial representative there. Usually the department who deals with that will look at a copy of her POA, and might request more documents, like a will. If they agree the first POA is suitable, they need to come up with a solution in your mom's best interest, because they are supposed to be her financial fiduciary, protecting her investment. Good luck, there IS a solution, try to keep a clear head and perhaps bring someone with you for support at these meetings.
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Reply to Avocet
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Assuming your mother is already taking MRDs from her IRA, I'm not understanding why you need to have POA to manage the distributions, because you probably won't need to manage them!. I have 2 IRAs, and after setting up my beneficiaries , telling the companies involved that I wanted the MRDs deposited in my checking account and how I wanted the distributions scheduled (e.g., quarterly, annual, etc.), I don't have to touch them. When I die, what remains will go to the beneficiaries. If I wanted to change any of the parameters, then if I were no longer handling my own affairs, it would be an issue, but otherwise, not.

I would advise you to get professional advice if you are thinking of liquidating her IRAs, as others have suggested. Normally, as far as I know, there would be major negative tax consequences, although there may be special provisions if it's being used for terminal care of your mother. You probably can get general info about these issues either from the banks/companies that issued the IRAs, just not specific info re your mother's IRAs. I haven'tlooked, but there is probably also info at irs.gov.
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Reply to caroli1
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Imho, perhaps her Individual Retirement Account is managed by a financial advisor firm. Prayers sent.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
Exactly. OP will need to contact them and find out what their requirements are to be set up as rep for her mother. The POA *may* be acceptable, but only if some other form(s) the "custodian", aka financial company managing the IRA, requires to be signed.

My comment was a bit longer, because it wasn't clear what the issue(s) are - the title states "...having extreme difficulty at most banks." but the very limited description mentions the IRA.
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Your description is a bit vague. Are you having trouble with ALL banking, or just the IRA? If it is just the IRA, they DO have special rules. See:

https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/using-power-attorney-ira

From that, it says:
"POAs can be used to conduct business and make decisions related to your IRAs. Ideally, before you set up a POA that you want to use for your IRAs, check with the IRA custodian first. Some custodians have very specific procedures on if and how a POA will be accepted by them for use on your IRA. For example, some organizations may have additional documents that they want you to sign before a POA will be accepted. Check with the custodian before you finalize a POA to make sure they will accept it."

Now, your profile says she's 88. She should've started the RMDs at 70 1/2. Has that been done and if so, where it is deposited? If it's going to her bank account, you should be able to do what you need to do with the POA.

In the past I've read many comments about people having trouble with banks accepting the POA. They shouldn't give you crap on these. I was able to use POAs done in 2006 to take over mom's accounts in 2014-15. If they gave me crap, I would've asked for supervisor, branch manager and on up the chain! IT is a legal document and they should accept it.

That said, were the POAs done in the same state that you now live? That might pose a little problem, but there should be a resolution. States have different rules (which is why the federal entities do NOT accept them.) I do see that you posted the original atty has passed away. Was he a single atty or part of a group? If he was part of a group, any one of the attys there now should be able to help. If it was only him, did someone take over his clients? A local court or perhaps another law firm might be able to answer those questions.

If you need to start with a different atty, they should be able to help, but will charge for it. Clearly if she's gone too far down dementia path, she can't do a new POA, but if she's in the early stages, the atty can determine if she's still capable of signing. My mother was about 90yo when we had to revisit the atty to make changes. He queried her alone, and was satisfied she was still capable at that point. However, if you are in the state it was drawn up in, it's still valid and the atty should be able to make some calls and get this working at the banks.

The IRA is a different beast. As noted above, the "custodian" will be the contact point and they can tell you what you need in order to be the representative for your mother. But, again, she should've been withdrawing the RMDs already - if she hasn't, there are IRS penalties. Are those funds going into an account? If so, that's one issue solved, so long as you get the bank to honor the POA for her bank account(s). If you need to make changes to the amount withdrawn, that will require following the IRA rules. Unless she has desperate need for all of the remaining funds, I wouldn't withdraw it all and close it. There are taxes to be paid on the withdrawals and they could amount to a lot! Rollover to another IRA wouldn't result in taxes, but also would be an issue because of her dementia.

So, if this is only about her IRA account, contact the "custodian" and find out what their rules are. The POA you have *MAY* be okay, BUT they may require supporting documentation, such as several letters from doctors regarding your mother's cognitive condition.

NOTE: If you haven't contacted the custodian yet, leave out the dementia and just ask what they require for adding a representative to help a client manage their funds. It may be a form that your mother and you have to sign with a notary. Get the form, find a notary, you both sign, notary signs and stamps, you keep a copy and mail it in! I only say this because when selling mom's condo, the Elder atty said I can sign all else as DPOA except the deed. She'd forgotten the condo by then, but signed w/ notary, all good!
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
Couldn't fit it in, but the reason for the final note is this:

Mom's facility has a notary. When she came down to witness, I asked her if she has to verify mom knows what she is signing. She told me no, she just has to verify that mom signed it. My reason for asking is I didn't want to bring up the condo and remind her about it. She had, by that point, forgotten about it and was asking about her previous residence! Why wake sleeping dogs???

I was quite surprised when the atty told me she had to sign it. She was really beyond capability to know what she was signing, to be honest. I passed it off as insurance paperwork or something. I thought it was incredibly stupid, but had to do what he told me so we could sell the condo.
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Call atty who did the POA and ask him how to get this clarified to stop the problem
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Reply to my2cents
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Pmagogo36 Dec 10, 2020
Unfortunately died
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can you check with an elder attorney to see what might or if anything can be done?  they are a little different than a regular attorney.  maybe someone else has a better suggestion.  good luck
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Reply to wolflover451
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For some reason IRAs are a bit different. My attorney drew up a durable power of attorney and insisted that would give me access to the IRA. However, the IRA insisted on a Medallion letter requesting that you be on the account and signed by your Mom. Call the people responsible for drawing up the IRA and find out what they need.
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Reply to KathleenQ
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
From https://www.irahelp.com/slottreport/using-power-attorney-ira

"POAs can be used to conduct business and make decisions related to your IRAs. Ideally, before you set up a POA that you want to use for your IRAs, check with the IRA custodian first. Some custodians have very specific procedures on if and how a POA will be accepted by them for use on your IRA. For example, some organizations may have additional documents that they want you to sign before a POA will be accepted. Check with the custodian before you finalize a POA to make sure they will accept it."
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1. Before you put forth any physical effort going into a bank, ask what they will require documents wise for what you wish to do. Ask for a manager.
2. Contact your local Alzheimer's Assn, even attend a support group one time to ask people there who they would suggest as far as an elder law attorney.
3. Look up a CERTIFIED Elder law attorney who will be able to have enough experience to deal with this circumstance. Just because she has dementia doesn't mean she can't be asked enough questions, a particular way so that she still knows her own mind and thinking and can respond appropriately.
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Reply to gdaughter
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Why can't you hire a lawyer? Did you talk to several of them? That way you definitely know the facts then. Its better to know than guess. I'm sure there are hundreds of people in the same boat as you and have come up against this problem many times. It is better to know than guess. A lawyer can go to court with you and get it turned over to be used for her care. So you should start calling. Dont go by what people tell you at a bank. Or friends tell you, or a stranger. They may or may not know.

I have been told so many things about an POA/Estate that were wrong or outright lies. For example: I had the dmv tell me I had no business asking about an estate car. I didnt own it. Are you kidding me???? So people coming off as experts aren't experts. They can have wrong info.

So keep calling to you get to the bottom of it. You aren't stuck. I proved at least 6 prople wrong. That little voice in my head said this doesn't sound right. Im gonna keep digging and I found out I was right. Every single time! So consult the lawyer who wrote up the POA. Start there. Might not cost anything.
And for those reading this. If you are handling an estate, or POA: if someone tells you something and it doesn't seem right keep phoning, keep digging. I could tell you some stories you wouldn't believe. I got to the bottom of it. You can too.
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Reply to Jasmina
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Since she now has dementia, you may need to file for legal guardianship. It's a process but will make it possible for you to manage her affairs. Banks and other organizations how have so many more restrictions that it makes it very difficult for them to work with under these circumstances.
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Reply to LizD61
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You call 401 and have her put you on as joint owner. Than you can make any
withdraws you want and it has nothing to do with a will. Mine was just a form
she had to sign
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Toomush Dec 10, 2020
That sorta works. But it has to be the right kind of account. A joint account means it is your money, too. Then, if she needs to go to a nursing home or other facility, when she runs out of money, they will go after yours. You both shared the account, right? Ask the bank to set up the right kind of account, one you are authorized to access, but is really only her account.
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I'd get her to sign a new POA on the banks form and have it notarized at a UPS store or similar place... I've never had a notary question my 93 year old father to determine his dementia.. You have the first form (the "real" authorization which was her true intention). This is bureaucracy. I'd also just move her IRA to another bank and do the same there with their forms.
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Reply to marydys
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Frances73 Dec 10, 2020
My mom's facility would take any documents to her and even if she signed with an X they could witness it and return it to me. This worked for all the forms I needed to apply for a VA pension for her.

I suggest you call the IRA organization directly and ask them for help and advice. That has always worked for me with banks, insurance, and other financial entities. Patience and persistence, they are only trying to protect you Mom.
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You are not alone. All this was new to me. First, check to see if your POA document includes Investments. That is different from checking and savings management. You may need to send a copy of your POA document to the IRA company.
See if you can get some legal advice. Check with Senior Centers. They may have an attorney who offers free advice. That’s how we got all our information. We were told to open new bank accounts with your mom and your name on the account as POA. If she has diagnosed Dementia/Alzheimer’s and you have the doctors letters stating that, send copies to Bank and Investment Co.
My mon loved to gamble and would withdraw thousands of dollars a week. I had to put a limit on her withdrawals. Eventually, I told her caregiver not to take her to bank or casino! She fought that, but eventually I won. It is frustrating, but remember, her brain is broken and you have to take over.
Does she live at home, your home, or a facility?
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Reply to Eaglet333
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Fill out the paperwork to close her IRA. Have her sign the paperwork. Deposit funds into her other accounts that you can manage. It might be a little underhanded, but they are being unreasonable.
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
That could incur a huge tax hit! Might not be the best way to handle this.
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I don't have much advice. I just want to commiserate. I know exactly what you're dealing with. I didn't get my moms taxes done until November! It was a nightmare!
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Reply to kibooki
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She won't be taking IRA required Payments til she is 70 I believe, unless you want to pay taxes.

If the money in the IRA is needed then just close it and tell the Bank to Deposit it in your Mom's Bank Account. Get the paperwork to add you on her Accounts.

My Dad has dementia but if I ask him to sign his name he will.

You have her Bank information, sign up all her bills to be Auto paid, taken out of her Bank Account.

Get a Credit Card if you don't have one already and Use a Credit Card on buying things, then have the payments made by the Credit Card Co Automatically taking it out of your mom's Bank Account.

I wouldn't waste money hiring a Lawyer.

You should be able to buy everything on a Crefit Card then have it paid by her Checking Account as long as you know all the Bank Info. Then all other monthly bills can also be set up with your Mom's Bank Account paying like her house, insurance, cable, utilities, ect.

Auti Bill pay by putting it on Credit Card or having it taken directly out of mom's Bank Account is easily done.
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Cascia Dec 10, 2020
I did this last year with my parents, they were not happy wanted to keep dealing with their own stuff but the bills were not getting paid all the time. This year my dad has been pretty ill - it has saved my life not to have to deal with all the financial stuff on top of the medical.
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A lawyer letter might do the trick. That is have a lawyer right a letter saying that their refusal to honor a valid POA is illegal.
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Vikaps Dec 10, 2020
Is that true Ms. Randall? We are having problems with people believing that it’s valid even though a law firm drafted it and my dad signed it. Thank you for your direction.
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Have a lawyer call them.
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Reply to Murranthegreat
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I don’t know if this will work in your situation, but try talking to someone else. Call the bank’s customer service number and see if they say the same thing.
I went through this last year with one of my mom’s banks—I assumed that since they held trust accounts and had a lot of elderly clients they would know how to handle POAs. They kept making up new requirements and changing them when I disputed them, then said they needed to keep the original documents, which I clearly was not giving them. They also said she needed to come in to the bank. That was around the time that my mom was accusing me of theft and abuse so that was no kind of option. (If she saw me move my hands, she said I hit her. She was putting notes on her belongings that had never left her possession saying that I had stolen them, and she told me that my house wasn’t mine because I had stolen it.)
I called the bank’s customer service number and they apologized profusely for their bankers’ incompetence, and gave me an email address to send the POA documents to. I think I might have had to fill out some other documents of theirs as well, but once I did that they set me up on her account with no problem.
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Reply to Doggomom
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Take your mom to the bank and have her add your name to her accounts. The banks won't care if she has dementia as long as she signs. Also, send in form to social security so you can be her representative payee.
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
For SS you need to call a local office (vs 800 number, which will be a long wait!) and schedule an appt.
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I have a durable POA for my mother but I am also the joint owner on all of her accounts. Her checking, saving, stock and annuity accounts are all in both of our names, so I can access everything without using my POA. This has simplified accessing funds. It might be something for those of you who are considering getting a POA to also do.
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Avocet Dec 11, 2020
Conjoining accounts also makes YOU the legal owner of 50% of everything you now jointly owned with her. You are free to use it for whatever you wish even now. There are ways that can be done, but it is not a good idea most of the time. Just saying that so people understand becoming co-owner of all the those assets can become a problem after the parent passes, especially if there are debts, or siblings, or other complications! Hope it works out in your situation.
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Think about it from the bank's point of view: Mom comes in, signs all the appropriate bank forms, notarized, etc. Now bank can say: This person is the legal POA and we are covered as long as we go with that POA that we have on file. Now if I come in with my mother's POA, but not on official bank forms, then how does the bank know that I am in fact the CURRENT legal POA?. That I have not been superseded or revoked? Where could they look it up, like the police checking if I had a valid driver's license? And determine that for sure they are legally protected? Can't really blame anyone for covering their a**, so to speak.
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Reply to rovana
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Banks and financial institutions want to use their own POA forms, that's all. They like to be a PITA about it, but it isn't all that big a deal. I had to fill out the paperwork for my parents' bank and for Charles Schwab, and while it took a week or two for them to process it all, they were able to do it.

As far as IRAs go, you can't put an IRA in a trust, but you can certainly direct the investments in it. Of course, I'm the trustee for my mother, not merely a POA, so that might be the difference. A trustee has more powers in terms of financial issues than a POA, I believe.

It'd be worth it to buy an hour of a trust and estate attorney's time to get all this straightened out. Don't assume you can't do anything because your mom has dementia.
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Reply to MJ1929
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disgustedtoo Dec 10, 2020
While some banks are PITAs about using their own POAs, I've been able to do everything at the CU and the bank mom used (redirected her SS to CU and closed the bank acct, to make my life simpler!) with the DPOA done back in 2006 (used it around 2014-15) and had no letters or anything mentioning her cognitive issues. I did have her with me both times, but she said NOTHING, just stood next to me rifling through her wallet and purse. The IRA is a different animal. That will require going through their rules.
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You certainly can contact an attorney on behalf of your mother. You can keep records of any out of pocket payments that you do for legal help and then reimburse yourself. I had such records when I applied for guardianship for my mom. When I did my recent personal POA, I asked about this scenario and his answer is that states have laws to streamline you through these nay sayers. You can try one more step to speak to the bank legal department. What does the advisor of the IRA think is going to happen to the account when it is your last means of support for mom? You do not mention your state but I have heard of POAs threatening misinformed bank people that they can be sued for not accomodating the document.
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Reply to MACinCT
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Do you have a brief written statement affirming the fact that you represent your mother because she is unable to manage her own affairs?

I’m POA for a dear relative, and wanting to establish the fact that I was responsible for her, I had a formal cognitive/psychological assessment done that resulted in a one page letter on the psychiatrist’s letter head, requesting that I be “helped” by financial agencies in plowing through her financial transactions.

That document, combined with a printed copy of hmm POA, was an amazing help with getting through the tangles of red tape. Even with Social Security, which does NOT accept POAs, became much more “human” when I showed them the validation that she did indeed need my help, and that I was indeed, her honest, loving relative.

I WAS able to work through the sues with her IRA this way. ALSO, ALL of the financial arrangements regarding her care are channeled through ONE SINGLE CHECKING ACCOUNT which is an additional proof that what belongs to her is always getting into the right place.

GOOD LUCK. We (2 independent POAs) DID have issues at the beginning, but ultimately everything has become smooth sailing.
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Reply to AnnReid
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Is the IRA on RMD (required distribution)?
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Reply to igloo572
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IRAs may be different than other accounts, but if withdrawals are required (minimum distribution) I would think as POA you could have the bank have those withdrawals go directly to your dad's bank account (checking or savings), where you could then withdraw the money to spend on his behalf. where are withdrawals going currently? IRS rules require minimum distributions from IRAs once the person turns I think 70.5. Peple can of course take out more than the minimum, or the whole IIRA, but taxes are owed on the IRA withdrawal in the year of the withdrawal. My husband is POA for his brother, and he submitted POA paperwork to the brokerage where his brother's IRA was held, and had to also fill out ans sign some additonal paperwork for the institution itself. After being processed at the central office, he was good to go and can act on brother's behalf for his IRA as well as his non IRA account.
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Gracie61 Dec 7, 2020
Juse an FYI, there were some new rules this year due to covid about RMD from IRA. You have the choice not to take it this year. I don't know what other changes there are. I have a letter of competency from her doctor (neurologist) that diagnosed the vascular and Alzheimers dementia. It stated her diagnosis, that she did not understand the extent of her disability and that it was correct that the POA was in effect. None of her banks have given me any issue once they had a copy.
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