Hi. Since last March, my grandfather had both his legs removed (separate surgeries). He was admitted to a rehab facility, then a nursing home. He is handling all of his expenses and is making his own arrangements with them. He has told me that he wants me to be his POA, but he has given me every excuse in the book why he didn't "get around" to calling his lawyer. So be it. I'm tired of asking. He prefers to be with his lady friend several hours away. I've called the lawyer myself, but obviously there is nothing I can do as a third party. The request has to come from grandpa.

My problem is, he has listed me as his financial POA with the nursing home and now they are calling me for a very large past-due amount. He's exceeded his 100 days covered by Medicare, and he refuses to follow the advice of the lawyer I paid to settle his finances and move toward Medicaid because his pension and SS help to cover the living expenses of his lady friend (she drives his car, for example). The two of them hope that he will move back into her house and they'll live happily ever after on his money. (she's 80 with her own health problems, by the way).

Am I responsible for that bill? If so, do I have any say in where he lives and can I suggest a cheaper alternative if I'm going to be stuck paying for it? I don't have $12K, and I sure know that he doesn't either. He seems to be in his right mind and coherent, but he's always been very secretive about money (other relatives have been screwed by his mishandling of money). It's extremely difficult to have this conversation with him, so I'm at a loss. Any guidance would be appreciated.

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Mariesmom gave you good advice. You may want to check with the attorney who prepared the POA. Also, because of the nursing home's demands, you may want to contact the LTC ombudsman for his area. Go to your state website or go to and type in the Zip code. This person can help guide you.
I, too, am not an attorney, and state laws vary, but I can't imagine that you could be responsible for anything financially. You will need to pay what he can pay out of his funds and then try to get him on Medicaid. That is care for those who have used their assets up and they then take over nursing home payments. The social services office where he lives can help you with that.
Good luck. It's too bad it had to get this bad before you could take over. Try to rest easy and take it a step at a time. It will cost you time, but it shouldn't cost you money.
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I'm no lawyer - but I do know that even if you were his financial POA, you personally would not be responsible for paying the bill out of your funds - you would only be handling the payment (or lack of it) on his behalf. As for the nursing home demanding money of you, without your name on the paperwork indicating you will be responsible for the bill, they have no legal leg to stand on.

Sounds like you are trying your best to help him but he is resisting the help. Unless he is mentally incompetent there is little you can do besides worry -and that helps nothing. Maybe all you can do is let him know you will be there to help him when he gets ready for the help, and until then you are staying out of it.
I wish you the best.
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I agree with mariesmom post also. Mom passed but I was her POA including financial, medical and all aspects of her affairs. I was not responsible for paying her bills - only for the handling of payment (writing checks for payment, terms of payment, etc.) and if she would have not had the money to pay the bills (she did have the money), it would have been up to me to deal "on her behalf" to inform them of such. At no time was I held responsible for her financially because I was her POA. I did also made sure that my name ALONE or ALONG with her name was not on any papers I signed; admission to rehab, hospitals, any bills whatsoever. I was informed to sign all papers regarding her this way - sign my name and add "as POA for xxx" (my mom's name). This showed I was the POA signing and could not be held financially responsible. Hope this helps a little. Good luck!
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jackie, well it sounds like he is a selfcentered old-goat who can't face reality. It could be that he doesn't have the cognitive ability to do this (like his dementia is advanced) OR he just feels that the rules don't apply to him and he can outsmart everybody. You & your family know him best so that determination is best done by you all.

Marie is spot-on in that you are not responsible for his debts. But you need to establish that fact with the NH. He hasn't actually even done the legal for you to be DPOA has he? But he is telling the NH that you are and you're taking care of everything, correct?

If you are worried that somehow you will get stuck with a 12K and growing bill, then send a very short.1 page letter to the NH:
- that although you are his granddaughter and as such are concerned for his care, safety & security, however you are:
- not his DPOA, MPOA or choice of "guardian in case of incapacity"
- not on any of this bank accounts with signing capability. If you don't even know where his accounts even are, state that too.
- not aware of what his SS or any other retirement benefits are, if that is the case
and as such cannot act as a DPOA or send them a check from any of the assets as all finances are under his control and purview AND
- you are not responsible for any of his debts.
Send this letter RRM (return registered mail) - this is the green card at the USPO. Costs about $ 6.00 to do a certified RRM letter. RRM is super important as it shows the letter was received, so there is no "we didn't know" by the NH. The NH probably will still send you past due notices or turn it over to collections, so sending something RRM can stop it from going very far or affecting your credit.

Whatever you do, DO NOT sign anything at the NH, hospital, etc with your signature. This is very important.

His finances are probably a convoluted mess....I wouldn't be surprised if when you get access to his paperwork (IF YOU DECIDE TO EVEN DO THIS) there are quite a # of past-due bills or other accounts in dispute (the sort of thing that he says "well I didn't pay that because they didn't do the work right, correct, on-time", etc, - there will always be an excuse for why he didn't do/pay.).

It could be that he doesn't understand OR refuses to accept that "his" money - like social security or retirement - has to all be paid directly to the NH, that he does not get to keep any of it less the monthly personal needs allowance ($30 - 60).

If he's been supporting his girlfriend, then when his fiances get reviewed for Medicaid, there can be a penalty on that as that $ can be viewed as a gift. The penalty (amount of time a currently Medicaid compliant person will not have Medicaid pay for NH) is based on when they apply for Medicaid against the transfer period. There is a formula on how each state calculates this as it is based on each state NH average costs. The penalty situation can be really difficult as often the problem is the elder spent the $ and now has nothing and no assets so the family either has to private pay for the penalty period or take him into their home for penalty period or find a board & care home or other low cost situation that his SS & retirement will cover or let them become a ward of the state.

The girlfriend doesn't have to pay the penalty either as she has no legal standing as she is not common-law wife. Depending on the relationship with the 80 yr old girlfriend, if you wanted to be snarky and vindictive or if you detect there was fraud, you could (if you do become POA) do his taxes for 2011 & file a 1099 to her for all the $ he paid her (for even more fun you could even do this for prior years).If she won't give you her TIN, you still file 1099 anyway with a non-compliant W-2 to the IRS with his taxes. She'll be dealing with the IRS for a while.......

Just out of curiosity, why you? What is the relationship with his children (your parents, aunts, uncles, ex-wife?) and why aren't they dealing with dad? You mention them being screwed out of $ by/with him. If this is his m.o., then it could be that he views you totally as just another one on the list that he can do that with. If this is the case, then save your sanity and finances and let the state take over.
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It is pretty general law that a person with a POA does NOT assume liability for the grantor's debts. You have the right but not the obligation to act as the grantee could have -- but you have no liability to act in any way. This means you can pay a bill from the grantee's checking account but you have no legal duty to do so. This does not have any effect upon any liability for his care if you signed any agreement with the home in your capacity as an individual. Do not sign anything as an individual for your dad. Sign his name followed by your name like this: John Doe by Jane Smith Attorney in Fact .(or POA). YOU MUST MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOU ARE ACTING ONLY AS AN ATTORNEY IN FACT AND NOT IN YOUR INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY. As many in legal actions things are not as simple as they seem
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