Is it normal for a senior to appoint their non-related caregiver a Power of Attorney?

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Some elders use the POA as as tool, like dangling a carrot, to make their family members dance to their tune or they're out. Some elders will give POA to their caregiver because they trust them, even though not all caregivers are trustworthy. Some elders lie about their families being after their money and ask outsiders to be their POA. Some elders trust their family too much and get taken to the cleaners. As long as they are of sound mind, it is their choice. Whatever the case, if you feel there is anything being done that isn't ethical, it would be a kindness to help. dpreifer, you are a kind person for caring. I hope your friend isn't being duped. It would be great if you could verify that her family is indeed on the outs with her and not just the caregiver nosing in on family matters.
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Thanks to all for all the answers and advice given regarding this situation. This woman does not have a current good relationship with her family from what has been told to me by caregiver. I am not sure she is completely lucid, she seems like a real sweatheart, she laughs and talks a little but I am not sure she is completely aware of everything going on around her and with her. I will continue visiting her and spending time with her so that I can ease my own mind about her situation. I live in another state 6 months a year so am not always here and she is now in her own home after being in a rest home for 2 1/2 years. I was a POA for my aunt and her guardian as well so I understand what is involved in this but I also want to make sure she is O.K. and not being taken advantage of.
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I serve as POA for a non-related senior friend who has other relatives including 4 grown children who aren't thrilled about it. I am also executrix of her will and medical POA as well as general POA. We went together to her attorney's office and she clearly laid out why she had made this decision and the lawyer even videotaped her explaining this in case it later comes up. She has cancer, not dementia. The lawyer also had her do a notarized statement as to why she made this decision because her kids are, well, let's just say they are NOT people you would want running your business or making decisions. They can't even run their own lives properly. There can be a lot of emotional reactions, family contention, etc in choosing a family member over other family members but an outsider can stay uninvolved with that and uninfluenced by that and it is actually a good thing for the family. In my experience, it is quite common to offer a POA to someone who is not related.
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A bit of history:
A daughter in law comes to me seeking information regarding Aid & Attendance,
Her F-I-L somewhat stubborn, got mad because his gransons did not pay much attention to him. I think the son had passed.He lived about 30 miles away.
The woman next door to him had become friends, he gave her his POA, and willed his house to her.
This neighbor knew nothing about A&A, and refused to deal with the relatives.
Not taking sides but I think the situation should have been investigated.
The D-I-L was frustrated and told me she hoped he knew what he was doing, as he really should not have been in the house by himself, but as far As I know
let it to nature.
Sounded like (financial) elder abuse to me.
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a caregiver that has been around a year is not giving me a good feeling...sometimes seniors feel desperate to find a poa and the first kind person can appear to be the one to give it to but this seems unsettling to me. if the caregiver is with an agency obtain the name of the agency...perhaps you could obtain a business card from the caregiver in a stealth fashion..it sounds like she is not allowing you to speak to the patient directly (you post is not visable as I write)...if you are not able to see/talk to the patient to determine coherency (sp)/dementia etc etc this should be a very red flag...isolation is how dishonest people get away with what dishonest behavior...is the caregiver being assigned medical and financial poa? I don't like this picture. If the caregiver will not allow you time alone with the patient this fact along with the poa is plenty for aps and or adult protective services....you might also ask direction from a phone consult with an elder attorney or two.
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you are a dear to be concerned and i would follow my instinct and determine what is going on. Your daughter is right in not providing her service, but I am afraid some not so honest notary will do the job....this is not a good situation. You may wish to call adult protective services, tell them the story and see if....don't give them name/address yet because i would want you to determine if aps will even be of any help to you.

i have heard of others calling aging and protective services (not aps) for guidance.
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you are a dear to be concerned and i would follow my instinct and determine what is going on. Your daughter is right in not providing her service, but I am afraid some not so honest notary will do the job....this is not a good situation. You may wish to call adult protective services, tell them the story and see if....don't give them name/address yet because i would want you to determine if aps will even be of any help to you.

i have heard of others calling aging and protective services (not aps) for guidance.
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I, too, served as POA for a non-related elderly neighbor whom I had come to know for many years as a friend, after she dissolved her previous non-related POA relationship. She, too, had an in-home caregiver who (wisely) did not want to become POA.

The advice I can offer is, if there is surviving family, to build an open, constructive relationship with them, with special attention to the underlying issues which caused them not to become POA. It works out so much better for all concerned if this attention is paid. Previously, I was POA for my own mother and I was always uncomfortable with the possibility that that relationship would be seen as self-serving. So I understand the discomfort.
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This senior has every right to appoint whomever they wish. If you are the relative who got left out of the POA, maybe this senior doesn't feel comfortable with you handling him/her affairs. It is quite a responsibility to have a POA. A non-relative can remain more objective since there are no personal ties. You did not give us much information to answer this question. There is nothing "normal" about personal relationships and tend to be very complex.
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Power of Attorney is a gift, freely given from one person to another. The appointee does not have to be related to the giver, nor does he/she need to be an expert on all matters. This person must be accessible however, and ready to serve, with knowelege of the giver's financial and medical issues...also obligations.
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