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When my Mom moved in with us, she added my name to her checking account (my name is on the bank statements along with hers) for emergency purposes, and I also pay her bills when she is unable to (in the hospital or whatever). The bank has my signature on file, and I am allowed to write checks, etc. Should I also have a financial power of attorney?? My brother & sister are pretty much out of the picture (other than an occasional ::cough:: phone call) and I am her primary caregiver - they have no claim to anything Mom has left (possessions at this point) & know that so I'm not worried about that. I was just wondering if there was any other reason for a POA beyond family stuff?

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We ran into an issue when my FIL passed away before their guardianships were established. In order to have him cremated the funeral home needed MIL's signature OR the signatures of ALL the children.

MIL become non-communicative during this time (we didn't realize that the SNF was giving her extra Valium --LSS-- she ended up in ER totally unresponsive) the ER doctor remedied that and she came around enough to sign the cremation order.

The cremation issue would have been sticky to get all the siblings on board with. While some of the siblings would have wanted the elaborate funeral with the embalmed body being shipped from Texas to Mississippi with all the trimmings- they didn't have enough money for that sort of thing and the siblings that would have wanted it would not have paid for it.

I don't know what your state requires, but maybe you should check with the funeral home where you are located.
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There are different financial and medical POA's. I feel that they should both be in place as anything is possible. You can be DPOA, Durable Power of Attorney, so in the event your Mom cannot make her own decisions, it is in place for both medical and financial, it is very simple, you can find free forms on line and both parties sign.. Vut I would do both pieces, being medical and financial DPOA. You can also become a Representative Payee, which is NOT a Financial POA but does have say with the financial end. That can be done through your Social Security office.
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@GrandpaHiker - I am already listed on her POLST form as her proxy decision maker regarding health issues, so I'm not worried about that. What you say does make sense though regarding something that might come up out of the blue...better to be prepared ahead of time. Thanks.
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My mom doesn't have an estate (real estate, investments, etc.) or will - thanks to thousands of dollars in co-pays for medical issues over the years, her IRA is gone & the only income left is her social security check each month. I just wasn't sure what else "could" crop up to where I would need a POA beyond the above?
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Being her primary care giver, there will eventually be a time when medical decisions have to be made & your mother will not be able to make those decisions. You will need a Durable POA in order to make those decisions for her. This is just one example of how you will eventually need a POA.
Even if you don't currently need it, now is the time to get a durable POA in place. I pray that dementia, etc. never enter your mothers life, but if it does & you wait until she can not understand & agree to the conditions of a POA then things get real complicated & expensive. A hearing will have to be held & she will have to be declared legally incompetent, etc. So, it is much simpler & less expensive to get the POA now.
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Yes, that is true as Colleen has stated. I noticed hardly any need for POA. What has been stressed for us is Durable Power of Attorney, where, when the elder is incapacitated, there is a document in place that allows the family member to take on specified duties for the care of the property of the elder when the physician has determined necessary.
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I live partly in South Africa and partly in Australia. My husband has dementia. Luckily before it got bad we opened joint accounts in all our bank accounts and the banks have never wanted to see a POA. In fact, I am also caring for my elderly mother-in-law and have just arranged signing power with the banks on all her accounts and they also weren't interested in a POA. I don't know if things are different in America. Having said all that, I also have POA's in place just in case other stuff crops up.
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