If I'm not comfortable becoming my father's POA, can I choose his bank or an agency to handle this responsibility?

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My father is partially paralyzed and cannot speak. He is alert and can answer yes or no questions. I would be comfortable being consulted before decisions are made. However, I do not want to be power of attorney because I fear that I might inherit his debt once he dies. A friend recently shared a POA horror story involving his loved one. My friend stated that his oldest sibling became POA for his loved one. After his death, bill collectors harassed the POA for a while. It took several court appearances to finally end the harassment. I must think of my own family. I cannot put my family through such an ordeal. Is there some way that I can help my father and still guarantee protection for my family?

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What you say means you will not inherit dad's debts but that doesn't mean those who own the debt still may harass you as next of kin especially with same name - declining P.O.A. will not stop that but accepting it might give you an idea who might come out of the woodwork later on so that you are forarmed

When he dies get lots of copies of death certificates then write up a letter saying that you are not him & he is deceased - furthermore any additional pushing for payment is harassment & then they can be charged for that - take the time to hand deliver these & ask for someone to sign otherwise take a pix - if a court is involved later then that may go a long way - good luck
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You can't choose anyone to have POA for your father. Only your father can make that choice and appoint someone; but you can assist him to do that if he wants to, for example by contacting the person he chooses, gaining their agreement and arranging the documentation.

You are wise not to accept this responsibility if you are not comfortable with it, for whatever reason or no reason at all. If I were you I'd ask the family lawyer; but it'll cost money, is that a problem?
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Maryland1960, having the same name is an interesting twist. Generally, the information others are giving about signing as POA is correct--as long as you sign "Dad's Name by Son's Name as POA" you are not obligating yourself to pay for his debts, you are only obligating his assets to pay for his debts. If you have always used the "Jr." or "III" or whatever suffix in your legal signature, which is different from Dad's, that would be helpful; but you probably still need to make sure that the people who are relying on your signature are well aware of the difference.
As far as being harassed later by creditors for his expenses, I'm guessing you can count on it anyway, especially with having the same name. And, furthermore, some states have filial responsibility laws that require a son to provide support for a parent if he is financially able, so that could come into play.
You really should make an appointment with an attorney who specializes in elder law. Usually they will give you a free or low-cost initial visit and answer a lot of your questions and tell you what they can do to help you and how much it will cost.

Having been POA for a paralyzed loved one, I somewhat understand your anguish, although I didn't have the name problem. Care is expensive, excellent care is about impossible to find, and managing finances for someone else is scary. The assistance I got from an elder law attorney was worth way more than the cost.
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As I read it you have not taken this responsibility. Your Dad has to assign POA. Be honest and suggest he give the responsibility to someone else which could be a lawyer. Be aware though, this person will be able to handle Dads money and his health decisions. As said, POA gives u permission to handle Dads financial and medical needs when he no longer can. You r not responsible for your Dads debts. Like said POA ends when he passes then executor of his will takes over. They will do probate. All debts have to be paid if there is money. If not, then proof will have to be shown to debtors that there is no money. Collection agencies are not allowed to threaten there are laws that protect people. You can report them.
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Yes, also some POAs have provisions for you to decline or revoke your ability to act as attorney in fact. Did dad name you and a secondary?

If not, talk to dad and then get the attorney who drew up first POA to draw up new one with dad assigning someone else, maybe even his attorney.

PS. Your responsibilities as POA end at your dads death. His debts just come out of estate not from you personally as long as nothing is in your name or you aren't on any accounts jointly with dad -- such as owning house or car together.

All debt comes out of estate before the estate is distributed to those in the will.
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Professional fiduciaries can be one's POA. If you are in contact with an estate planning attorney, they may know some that they have worked with before. I listed a fiduciary as POA and health care agent in my estate planning as I have no children or siblings.
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An additional problem is that we share the same name. This can become a problem.
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I respectfully suggest that there is more to your friends story than being POA. You do need to understand the authorized actions that the POA allows you to perform and not personally sign anything.but only sign as your fathers POA. As in, John Doe, POA for Dave Doe.
The POA ends at the death of the principal.
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You are not obligated to take over your father's debts as his POA. Debt collectors may try to harass you just on the basis of you being his next of kin, but they will have no legal basis to collect unless you signed your own name to a loan, etc.

But to answer your question, no, you cannot pass the POA on to someone else. Only your father can assign that to someone.
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I would encourage you not to sign anything or pay anything. That is awful what happened to your friend. I am wondering if he/she was maybe executor, also?
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