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I have a question about legal documents. I am an only child, my mother whom I take care of is also an only child. Both my mother's parents are deceased.I have POA, but not a formal MPOA.I probably shouldn't assume that I wouldn't need one or a living will since I have no siblings and I am legal next of kin. My father has been deceased for 15yrs.Should I go to the expense of a lawyer for these documents?My name is already on all her checking accounts and CDs.Would appreciate any advice.

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It really should not be expensive to obtain a medical power of attorney, but I certainly recommend you get one from your mother. It will make access to her doctors (with questions) and her medical records much easier, down the line. She should also sign a living will specifying what her wishes are in a terminal situation, so you do not have to guess.
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REALLY important to get MPOA (Medical Power of Attorney) and HIPPA POA. My husband and I did all of our legal paperwork prior to him being diagnosed with Alzheimer's (thank goodness!) - and when he was unable to have a phone conversation any more, I had to speak with his insurance company, doctors, pharmacy, etc. They would only speak with me AFTER I provided copies of the MPOA and HIPAA POA. It has made my life a LOT easier in caring for him.
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The problem with on line forms, is that they are just forms and may not serve the needed purpose. You usually find that out when they are Challenged in court. Then its too late, and the results may be far from what was intended. Legal forms are State Specific and subject to court Interpretation. Going for the cheap may be the most expensive thing you have done. Courts cost a lot of money.
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I would at least get a Living Will (or Advanced Health Care Directive) allowing you to make decisions for your mother in the event she's unable to do so. This doesn't necessary mean she would have to have a dementia diagnosis.

We had some very, very unexpected medical issues after my sister died. I was health care proxy for my father and had to invoke provisions of his Living Will in order to accomplish a variety of actions after he was unexpectedly intubated and put in a chemically induced coma.

Does your mother own property? If so, is title held by your mother and you as joint tenants with rights of survivor, so that the title would pass directly to you?

If she has any mutuals, stocks, IRAs, retirement or pension funds, those should be considered as well as to how they're titled.

Do you also hold joint title to her car, if she still has one?

If all of her assets will already pass directly to you, it sounds like you're covered. You can also check with your community's senior center to determine if they offer free legal advice, as many in Michigan do. A brief consultation with an attorney might raise issues that would require some additional protection. At least then you'd be comfortable knowing what you might or might not need to do.

Don't forget to think about how you eventually want your own assets to be allocated as well.
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I too have reservations about on-line forms. In fact I would never use them. They're too boilerplate and don't address specific situations. There is no way that they could possibly cover all the potential issues in each person's individual situation.

Attorneys have to spend 3 years in law school, for a reason. Legal services are expensive, but if someone needs legal help it's worth it to get it rather than use on-line forms.

I'm not challenging anyone who has recommended these online legal sites, just saying that from about 4 decades working in various aspects of law I would never consider an online site for legal documentation.
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My mother got a Will, MPOA and FPOA all from a great attorney, for $200 total. If you want these things ask around and how much. This was her 2nd set after the 1st lawyer charged her over $5000 and sent a letter saying he would continue to bill her for $1500 monthly. She didn't trust his work anymore. ( I never did ) The good attorney gave some great advice about the tax end of things and freezing assets until estate was settled. Maybe you'd want to go just for some peace of mind that everything will go smoothly.

Good luck!
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If all assets are in the bank and CD's then you don't really need a POA, The POA dies when she does. If there is other property, you need a will and or Trust. Regardless you do need a Medical directive. Doctors are very hesitant to stop any treatment even if it is a advisable unless they have some directive, Is you mother men tally able to sign such a document?
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I'm the only responsible child and my mother currently has dementia, is in a skilled nursing/rehab facility in Florida. I reside in Texas and plan on bringing her here to care for her. While there I got the POA, living will, advanced directive, DNR and medical POA. One of her credit unions won't allow me to make transactions online even though I am the beneficiary, so I have to get a guardianship document for her to sign and have notorized. Each financial institution has different requirements I'm finding out.
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Be careful using sites like legalzoom for something this important though. Wording on the those types of documents might not sufficiently detailed. A visit to a good elder law attorney would be in your best interest for your peace of mind.
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kcshine, I believe beneficiaries have no pre-death rights. I'd question any financial institution that allows a beneficiary to handle someone else's assets before they pass.
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