How can I invoke the POA which my Mom and I hold together? - AgingCare.com

How can I invoke the POA which my Mom and I hold together?

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My mom must move out of her retirement home and move to a secure home. The POA is separate for both Property and Health and we must move her.

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Think of POA as a "principal/agent" relationship. Tom Brady (the principal) keeps his agent (me, for example) as long as his agent makes decisions of which Tom Brady approves. Tom Brady's agent can act only as long as Tom Brady is living. And Tom Brady can continue to make his own decisions, even bad ones, in spite of having an agent.

Typically the POA has immediate effect. It can be merely inconvenient for the principal to sign something, e.g., Tom's in Brasil visiting his in-laws, and I need to sign on his behalf. Sometimes people sign "springing" durable POAs, and a doctor must then certify that the principal no longer has capacity. Which opens up a whole new set of problems - now you have it in writing! My philosophy: either you trust your agent, or you don't. You can't say, "I trust them, but I don't WANT to trust them until the VERY LAST MINUTE and then I want to get a doctor involved."

A POA is called "durable" if it continues to have effect even after Tom Brady no longer has the capacity to sign documents. The agent then must be guided by what the agent thinks the principal would want, were the principal capable of doing whatever is contemplated. If the agent doesn't know what the principal would want, then the agent must act in the principal's best interest.
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If the POA has been signed via the attorney, it is active and you can take charge. When Mom moved from FL we had to have her Trust updated. She and her attorney took care of all details. She signed the POA. I didn't understand that it was already in force as Mom continued to make decisions for a while. So when the time came to move to a more secure facility I already had the power and took the necessary step. Call the attorney that drew up the POA.
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Not sure what you mean about invoking it.
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Wayne, Went through this with my Mother. We had the eldercare attorney, who had drawn up all the POA and trust papers, be the 'bad guy' who told her she was 'running out of money' so needed to find a new place to live and we needed to sell her house to get more money. (all true, but avoided the 'you are not capable on your own anymore' arguement). Mom came up here with me from her town 5 hours away and we went around to AL places so SHE could 'choose' the one she wanted. Of course, I only took her to those that would be OK with her budget and my life. JohnnyJ is describing exactly what we did with Mom....had her and a caregiver pin tags on all the furniture of hers she wanted in her new place. Set up the floor plan, furniture, as much like her old family room as we could...same with the bedroom furniture. She was/is in a 1 BR AL apt. We did not deal with the rest in her home until she was in the new place, so as not to upset her with the sorting and tossing out of 60 years of 'stuff'. We put all the valuable stuff of hers in storage. Got her to agree that some of her furniture and clothes could go to family. We are 'storing' her car at our granddaughter's, where they are actually using the car, since Mom had already stipulated that this granddaughter should get the car. However, Mom, also was not ready to see it sold....so it's 'being stored'. When she gets to where she no longer remembers about the car and stuff in storage, we'll sell or give it all away. Her funds are paying for the storage. But with her POA in AZ, we cannot 'force' her. We can suggest, talk, explain until we get agreement, but if she digs in her heels and says NO...then we would have to go to court for guardianship. We do have the statements from two doctors that she has Alzheimer's and cannot make executive decisions any longer, but I am still to let her decide simple things as she is able. I generally give her choices that are acceptable no matter which she chooses. For example, she is on the waiting list for a bed in Memory Care, because she is declining pretty rapidly, but if it shows up while she's still 'with it enough to know that's where she would be moving to', she will have the choice to move downstairs to that new apartment, or to move to WA state with a granddaughter and family for the rest of her life. She continually refuses the offer from granddaughter, because she doesn't like how they keep house (a family with 6 kids who home school and run a small farm....so it cannot possibly look like a model home all the time!!) That granddaughter, however is also a retired RN like me, AND 4 of the 6 kids were fostered and now adopted, so she is very skilled with medical and with working with agencies to get help that is needed. A good fit actually. If I were you, I would go back to the lawyer who did the paperwork and/or consult with another elder care attorney who would be experienced with all aspects of aging elderly, Medicaid applications, finances, POA interpretations etc.
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Later, as my friends' dementia worsened and the wife needed 24 hour care, I was able to convince the more able husband that they needed to move to a place where his wife would get the care she needed. 24 in-home care was really expensive and a memory care apartment in an assisted living facility would be cheaper and include all their meals. It took a long time to convince the husband, since his short term memory problems kept him from realizing the changes in his wife, but he was finally convinced he should do this for her sake. As long as it was for her and not a reflection of his abilities, he went along with this. Then he forgot. We had the conversation 4 times, including the day of the move. Another friend took them out for breakfast and then to have their nails done and we moved their furniture while they were out. We made their memory care apartment look very much like their condo den and bedroom where they spent 90% of their time. When they were brought there, the sat in their same furniture, arranged the same way, with a sigh of relief. They quickly adapted to their new apartment, though the wife only lived another 4 1/2 months before her brain just shut down and she could no longer swallow food. The husband remains there and is content, though he tells outsiders he only is there because of his wife--his mental abilities are just fine.
The logic part of his brain works, but the memory part is pretty shot and he couldn't care for himself anymore. But, he has made new friends in the dining room and enjoys reading his paper and watching tv--the old Bonanza and Gunsmoke westerns--and CNN news. He is just where he needs to be. He never mentions his condo anymore and I don't go into the details about getting rid of his possessions and eventually selling it. I just work on that now as my care project.
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The POA authority one might have depends on the choices the people made in filling out the form. In Minnesota, the choices included the option of having the POA make a decision even if it was different from what the giver of that authority wanted. The financial part also gave me the authority to sell their condo, car, etc. so I had the power to do that. I used Adult Protective Services to visit them when my friends continued to drive after their licenses were revoked. During the evaluation visit, she asked the husband how they got their groceries. When he said they drove to the store, of course, she reminded them their licenses were revoked and he "acted" surprised. She later asked him what he thought they should do with the car if neither could drive and he replied "sell it." At that point he was willing to give me the keys and I moved their car to a friend's garage where we got it ready to sell. A few months later, we got a phone call one morning from my friend exclaiming "Our cars are gone!" They hadn't had 2 cars in years and had forgotten everything about why their last car was not there anymore. But, at least everyone was safe. I took them grocery shopping, to their appointments and to a near-by lake to enjoy the sun and water and out to eat occasionally and they were quite happy with that.
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Why would your mother hold a POA for herself? If she is incompetent, then move her. If not, then you have the power depending on the extent of your duties as co-POA.
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Lots of people confuse POA (power of attorney) with guardianship. They are very different. With POA you can do for the person only what they would want to do if they were able. You can not do for them, or force them to do things they do not want, even if you think it would be in their best interest. They must be deemed incapable, whether physically or cognitively, in the eyes of the doctors, not just your opinion. To make make financial transactions for them in this situation , you also need Durable (financial) Power of Attorney. To make medical decisions for them you need Medical Power Of Attorney ( which is a separate and different document . To make them do something that they do not want to do, like move out of their home against their will, you need guardianship.

One small example here, Dad lost his driver's license. He was well into his journey through dementia. Of course he refused to stop driving. When we took his car away, (for his own good, and that of everyone else on the road), that was against the law. (We did it anyway, of course.) But we could not legally sell it, according to the elder law attorney. Despite having both medical and durable powers of attorney. We could only do for him want he would want. And it was clea that he did NOT want to sell his car
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This is kind of confusing.

Who has POA for Mom?
Who has health POA for Mom?

Has Mom been declared incompetent to act on her own behalf? Would two doctors be willing to say that she cannot make her own decisions?

Who has determined that she must move to a "secure home"?

A little information may net you more specific answers.
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Not sure what you mean you hold it together. Are you saying you are her POA? Is it financial poa as well as you being her healthcare poa? If that is the case and she is not able to make decisions anymore then you make them for her. You dont need a court order, thats what the poa is for. You give copies of it to the bank and the facility you move her into etc...now if she is of sound mind and does not want to move thats a whole different ball game. More info will help us give you better directed comments.
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