I'm not named in parent's will, but they gave me financial POA. Any advice?


My parents are in their 80's and living at home, but mom has AD. They recently asked me to have financial POA and pay bills if one of them becomes unable to. I agreed. Dad gave me a lot of files which included their Will. I read it to familiarize myself with things and noticed that they have a trust and upon the death of the last surviving spouse the only beneficiary of that trust is my sister. I read through the entire Will, and my name is not included anywhere.
I asked dad if this was indeed the way he & mom wanted it. He said they tried to simplify things as much as possible and there should be a Trust Statement that mentions my name. So far, I can't find that but am still looking.
Regardless, I am so hurt that my parents didn't include me in their Will. It seems they wanted me to do all the grunt work, but didn't think enough of me to put me in their will. They only have 2 kids and I can't imagine why any parent would leave one of the out. Am I wrong to be hurt? Also, it seems if my sister is the only one named in their Will as being the beneficiary of a Trust, whichever way she divides up the funds is up to her. I feel like my parents completely left me holding the bag, while my sister walks off with the goods?? Thanks for any insight.

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Is this existing trust or will be Testamentary Trust??? sounds Testamentary

If it’s Testamentary, are you named executor in their will? whomever is executor ends up dealing with all aspects of probate including setting up the Testamentary Trust. Executor can s...l....o....w walk the process if need be as assets need to be evaluated, funding streams determined, etc..... Should there not be assets or enough assets to fund a T Trust, executor can petition for an order to sell or distribute assets instead.

If it’s a Testamentary Trust you really need to speak with law firm as to if any documents are at the ready or still need to be done. The future executor should be in on all this but the wishes determined by the elders. Do you have a clear idea of just wtf your parents intention are with the legal they did? Do they understand what they did? It really would be worthwhile to have a meeting at attys office to review all existing paperwork & if a law firm did NOT draw up that DPOA dad just gave you.... then get the atty to do one so it’s all correct and current for however dpoa done for your state (like with 2 witnesses and with notary seal).

As an aside.....In theory a “NON-Testamentary trust” would be done with ALL possible assets titled to the trust and this creates an income steam to fund ALL the trusts costs. Trust would be its own entity and whether mom & dad died doesn’t matter. Trust exists and continues on with whomever named trustees and successors; and they can determine if to defund & file to close out. What seems to come up over & over on this site is that parents put house into a Trust - often under the premise of keeping government from their $$ &/or avoiding Medicaid Recovery - but their SS, annuity or other income (all paid to them personally) & their savings is needed to pay Trust (house) costs. Trust has no other assets, like stocks or other investments, which make $ and stream to cover all the costs associated with the trust. Probability is this sort of trust will their run short of $ - either by outliving their $ or having it go to the required Medicaid copay - & the trust collapses. Every year at tax sale notifications, I see more & more of these. Pause to evaluate if doing a trust financially makes sense & try to plan on what would be the defund point.
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Co-successors, or just a successor carry out the terms of the will or trust. Who is the beneficiary?
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Thanks all for such helpful replies. My sister and I do not get along and haven't for years. My dad told me he wanted the trust to be split 50/50 between my sister and I.  My anxiety comes in two ways: 1) I don't know why dad didn't put my sister and I both down as "co-successors" if indeed he wants things split 50/50, and 2) My sister lacks the motivation to do anything that has no direct benefit to her.  There's no reason she simply won't ever get around to divvying the funds to me, and there's no overseeing entity to hold her to it.  Sigh - I can't believe my parents set me up for this.     
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Ginger, reiterating what others wrote, I suspect that your parents told the attorney what they wanted, the attorney drafted the documents and your parents never read them. That's not blaming them; trust documents can be quite byzantine. In fact, in my experience, most clients do NOT read all the Trust documents.

After having my sister's and father's Trusts taken care of, I realized there were terms that I didn't understand, and I've worked in law firms nearly all my life.

Are you and your sister on good terms, or is there conflict over your being named proxy in the POA? If you get along well, I would discuss this with her. It is possible that your parents felt they were in fact fairly dividing the responsibilities more or less equally, with you handling affairs now and her later. But it does seem as though there's been an omission or perhaps unfairness to leave all the assets to her.

If you are close to each other, get an appointment with the attorney who drafted the trust documents to raise these issues of concern so you both can understand your obligations and rights.

I would be crushed if the situation occurred in my family, and would perhaps tell your father that you don't feel it's fair to be proxy now (presumably w/o compensation), while all their assets will be left to your sister, who can pay herself Trustee fees.

However, there is another possibility, depending on whether the trust was properly funded, and that would be a major concern of mine given the apparent limited knowledge of your parents (that's not a criticism, just an observation).

You or your sister absolutely need to know if the Trust was "funded", which means that assets are retitled in the name of the Trust. If not, the Trust will be barren. This could create a real mess later, so I'd address this ASAP.

Along that line, it might be that your parents also provided for you by retitling other assets, such as their house (i.e., jointly, to pass to you on death of the latter of them). Do you recall co-signing any bank cards to open accounts?

I hope the attorney can shed some light on this situation. I would feel very uncomfortable and resentful if this happened to me.
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Ginger, pound to a penny there are more documents to find and everything will become magically clear. But if your parents, in their attempt to simplify (!), have made their affairs so Byzantine that you can't see at a glance what is supposed to happen *and* it doesn't make a lot of sense, I agree with everyone that you must take the whole lot back to the [expletive deleted] lawyer whose idea this was and get clarification.

What does seem really obvious is that your parents are not conspiring to exclude you - they'd hardly do that, going tee-hee-hee behind their hands, and then appoint you to act for them on finances. (((Chin up!)))
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GingerMay, of course it is normal to feel hurt, follow the above advise to get all the documents so you know the entire picture. If you and sister do not have a great relationship you could be left holding the bag, gold brings out the worst in most people. If you find you get the bag and don't feel that you can do this FPOA for your parents, please do one of two things. One - walk away, sorry dad but I just can't do this knowing sis gets everything but the grunt work, two - get a fee agreement in place, talk to the atty you see about how much you can legally charge - Sorry dad but I can not do this for free knowing sis gets everything but the grunt work in the end.

My dad wants me at his beck and call but, has never offered one penny for gas or wear and tear or anything but, the dollar menu at taco bell. (I will only take him there every 6 weeks, kills my stomache) I can't tell you how many times I've heard I'll take you to lunch when we're done, when the bill comes he goes to la la land, we can sit there for an hour and he won't touch the check. Which I am all okay with, you get to a point you just know you are paying but, when he tells me what he wants to do for his step children (ex at that) then I feel the pain. I know it will never happen, they are gone without a trace, it's that he makes me feel like a grunt slave when he does those things. I have no choice, there is no one else to help him. It's sounds like you do. If you do help, remember that you are doing because you love them, you will need that in your head all the time because they will say and do things that hurt to the core, they're old and their brains are broken, sometimes it's hard to remember why I'm doing this. I know that being a door mat or a scratching post isn't on my bucket list, now let's see I'm doing this because...oh yea, I love him. Really, maybe, I don't know. Can I take him to salvation army without getting in trouble? (This is how many of my days go, just a little heads up for you.) Keep your sense of humor and learn it's okay to walk away and come back when u or things calm down)

I pray that you find it is an equal split with you and your sister and if not I pray you find peace in the knowing.
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For many reasons you should visit your elder attorney and go over the documents. People often take on the role of POA and don’t realize what they are responsible for and how it will affect them and parents and sibling relationships long term. Just like now. You have just begun and already you are feeling taken advantage of. It could be your dad does not understand the documents himself. Don’t put this off.
And it’s possible your sister doesn’t know or understand their paperwork either. Don’t stew about it. Face it head on and then you’ll know better how to go forward. Your dad should pay for this appointment. Make sure it is with a NAELA certified elder attorney who also understands Medicaid rules for your state should either parent require it in the future.
You can have the attorney look over the papers and tell you if any changes are needed and explain what actions are required.
Who has medical POA?
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Ginger, there are different types of trusts and each does different things. Can you call the professional who drafted the trust document to be sure you have all the paperwork? Perhaps that will unearth any missing paperwork. Did you read the trust documents? What are the details? (for you not us!)
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I don't they left you out. My guess is that they named sis as successor trustee should they not be able to manage any longer. That makes her responsible for the survivor and eventually distribution of the estate according to other directions. You may want to suggest to dad that it is time to review the trust with their attorney.

The POA document terminates upon death. Then it sounds like sis will take the responsibility.
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