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My Dad has Alzheimer's and his wife has been caregiver and is in failing health.

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I'd go the easiest route that will accomplish what you need.

Is Dad's wife happy to have you involved, or will she resist you "taking over"? How about other family members? If there is likely to be a lot of conflict, then guardianship might be best. It will also be harder to get if family members oppose you. And Dad must be determined to be incompetent in order for guardianship to be assignable. Just having dementia is not automatically considered legally incompetent.

Durable POA and medical POA may be sufficient if there is no opposition. That means Dad will have to demonstrate he understands what it means to allow someone else to make decisions for him when he cannot make them himself. It probably varies by state, but in our case my husband did not have to prove he could read the document -- only that he understood the explanation. Also, in this state the person being assigned the role does not have to sign anything.

Since Dad's wife is declining in health, it would be good for her to assign those roles, too, whether it be to you or someone else. It may help your Dad feel good about doing this if his wife is doing it, too, but at this point your focus should be on Dad (in my opinion).

Guardianship definitely requires a lawyer and a court procedure. There are do-it-yourself forms for POA, but I urge you to get the help of an attorney specializing in Elder Law. As other issues come up you will have someone to consult. (Not your cousin who handles divorces or your company lawyer who knows corporate taxes -- an Elder Law specialist is what you need.)

I wish you every success on this bumpy road of helping Dad! Come back and let us know how this turns out. We learn from each other!
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I agree. I would try to go the DURABLE POA and Healthcare POA route if he is still competent enough to sign them, but if not, you can discuss Guardianship with the attorney to see what that involves. And mom needs to sign too. Keep in mind that it's a huge job, takes lots of time and can be very frustrating if the parent is difficult to reason with. It can take up lots of time and be very stressful. Still, sometimes there isn't anyone else available.
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It is always good to have both medical POA and financial POA for one's parents. How is your Dad's Alzheimer's? Would he be able to appoint you as his POA and still understand legal documents? If yes, get him to an Elder Law Attorney immediately to have the documents drawn up, and also POA for your mother if she wants you to make decisions for her.

And while there, have your own POA prepared, you would need to bring along the person you want to be your POA as that person needs to sign saying they accept this position.

If your Dad can no longer understand what he is reading, then I guess Guardianship would be next. Others here on the forum can direct you on that.
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