When my mom had her stroke last spring, I got healthcare POA over her. She's currently in a nursing home. A family member tried to convince me to get durable POA over her (which would include financial POA) when she was in the hospital last spring after I'd gotten the healthcare POA. I ignored their advice as I felt I needed to consult with an attorney with anything financial related and I was fearful a durable POA, since it would include the financial aspect of things, could possibly/somehow create a situation where the hospital or nursing home, etc., might seek me out for billing.
My mom has no money or income/assets or insurance and is in the nursing home she's in under a charity program that is paying for her bed basically.
I have an appointment with a local elder firm soon to discuss durable POA and the 'risks'. In the meantime my question is - does anyone know if having financial POA creates more 'risk' for me in terms of healthcare institutions seeking me to bill for any future care of my mom's? Does the healthcare POA create a similar risk in any aspect/s?
Has anyone here been sought after for payment on healthcare related expenses as a result of being health care and/or financial POA for someone?
A medical power of attorney — also known as a health care proxy or health care agent — is someone who makes health care decisions for the principal if they're incapacitated. It's their job to ensure a senior's wishes, as stated in their advanced directive or living will, are upheld in case of end-of-life care.
A general POA, sometimes called a financial power of attorney, gives an agent power to: Sign documents on the senior's behalf. Open or close bank accounts and withdraw funds. Buy and sell property, real estate, and assets.
I had my name on my parents' bank accounts which enabled me to sign checks FOR them, on their behalf, to close their accounts out when they passed, etc.
You are in more danger of being responsible for her debt if you sign anything without being her DPOA. You need to read every word of anything you sign. Most documents for services have hidden in the wording that by signing you accept financial responsibility. So you would sign as POA for mom and not just you to protect yourself from being responsible.
The checking account was in her name and the names of her 2 POAs.
Perfect record keeping, because NO expenses could be written against “her” account without being overseen by both POAs.
You have zero personal financial responsibility for the person for whom you hold POA, but you shouldn't take on the responsibilities if you don't understand them.
Moreover, unless your Mother is completely mentally competent she can no longer confer upon someone a POA. This is done by a mentally well person, asking another person to manage ALL finances and keep track of every penny in and every penny out, and it is done when they are well for future needs. So it is too late to get Mom to give you POA. You would have to go for guardianship. And why would you? Do you have a reason to want this? Do you feel capable of keeping track of all the finances.
When you are guardian or trustee or POA you sign all papers as POA. So basically you are acting for the person as their POA or their Trustee or their Guardian. But you are not financially responsible for their care. Their own assets, which you manage for them, go to their own care and you keep records of it all.
An attorney will happily explain all of this to you. There is no reason I can see for you to have any of this while your mother is in care, her care is being paid for, and you already are managing her medical decisions for her.
I wish you the best. I was POA and Trustee for my brother. It is a BIG job and you have a lot of time on the phone and arranging things. It isn't to be taken on lightly. I wouldn't want to do this job for anyone again.
When your Mother passes you may be executor or her will or she may have appointed someone else. There will likely be no assets and what assets she had may go to pay back medicaid of whatever governmental agency paid for her care. She likely won't even have a probate to be filed.
I wish you the best.
True that I do know little about this which is why I'm seeking information and as mentioned, do already have a call set up with a local elder care firm.
I took care of my the age 92 to 93-year-old mother back in 2012 to 13 with durable POA to pay bills on her behalf and Never got Billed with her expenses. She got Medicaid to pay her expenses. I was not financially responsible for her final legal or medical expenses because OR State where Mom lived will eventually get repaid after I leave my condo or pass away. Much more humane than the State of CA. The only financial responsibility left is a small promissory note against the CA condo where she once lived with me before nursing home in OR near my brother.
I hope you by now seeked counsel with an eldercare attorney about your mother's situation. Remember, you are never responsible for your mother's expenses. It comes from her Medicaid assistance and estate after her death. If no funds left, the State eats her final expenses, Not You.
I, personally, think that everyone should read the state laws that govern POAs for their state, because you are accountable to that law and ignorance is no excuse for breaking those laws.
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