My siblings and I think Dad should be in a facility. Do we need power of attorney to get it done if his wife (our stepmother) objects? - AgingCare.com

My siblings and I think Dad should be in a facility. Do we need power of attorney to get it done if his wife (our stepmother) objects?

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Nettie37, yes, the short answer is you will need at least POA for health care and probably for finances in order to move your dad to a facility if he or his wife are against it. And, as DeeAnna has advised, guardianship may well be necessary, and probably absolutely necessary if your step-mom is already your dad's POA agent, unless your dad is of sound enough mind to change his POA assignment(s) and is willing to do so. As DeeAnna also suggested, it sounds like your situation is begging for family mediation and I advise that that be your first option. Good luck and best wishes.
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Who is your Dad's Durable POA and POA--Health Care? Is your Dad competent and able to make his own healthcare decisions or does he have dementia or Alzheimer's? Only YOUR DAD can assign or choose his POA or POA-Health Care. We really need more information about your Dad's health and situation to make appropriate suggestions.

If your Dad's POA is his wife/your step-mother, and your Dad has dementia and is UNABLE to make his own decisions, then ONE PERSON (one of your siblings or you) will have to petition the court for GUARDIANSHIP of your Dad. That process can get rather messy emotionally and is expensive for the petitioner and for your Dad & Step-mom. It could easily cost the petitioner $5,000-10,000 for the petitioner's attorney (along with court costs) and it could cost your Dad about $5,000-10,000 for his "Attorney AD Lidem" AKA "Court Appointed Attorney" that will be assigned to him during the Guardianship process. It could take 4 months to 1 year or more before the Guardianship is awarded by the Court.

Since there are several siblings, which one of you will be the one to petition to become the Guardian? Will all of the other siblings be willing to help pay for that sibling's expenses, such as the attorney fees? If that sibling makes a decision concerning your Dad's finances or health that you do not agree, what will you do? Try to get guardianship away from your sibling?

Also, once you (or your sibling) become the Guardian of your Dad, ALL of Dad's financial and medical responsibilities/bills will be YOUR (or your sibling's) responsibility. You will have to complete required reports annually and keep a separate checking account just for your Dad. No one else can put money into or take money out of that account. You will have to keep ALL receipts for ANYTHING that you purchase for your Dad and for all bills that you pay for your Dad. Your Step-mom will have to have a separate checking account and your Dad can put NO money into her account. All jointly-owned property will have to be listed on the report form and any selling of jointly-owned property will have to follow the state's Guardianship rules and guidelines. Your Dad will no longer have any say or rights to determine what he wants to have done or how he wants bills paid.

Are you really SO concerned about your Dad's health that you want to be your Dad's guardian or are you trying to get your Dad away from your Step-mom because you do not like her?

Have you talked with an Elder Care Attorney in the location where your Dad and Step-mom live? What did the attorney advise you to do? If you don't want to go for guardianship, then you might try "MEDIATION". Most states have a Mediation Organization that will work with you (and your siblings) and with your Dad & Step-mom to determine what is best for your Dad. That might be the better option.
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