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My sister in law may need to go to an assisted living facility in the future due to health and visual problems. She is too over weight for my family to handle. I will help take care of her expenses and am wondering if as beneficiary there is anything I need to do to protect her assets.

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Blackhole, I think a lot depends on the generation of one's parents. I am an only child, but I am sure if I had a brother he would have been assigned to everything even if he was clueless about handling money. That was how it was in my parents world [in their 90's], only a male could understand finances :P
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Lil Bro, your predicament is common. 10-ish years ago, my mother named her husband as DPOA and executor; and named a trustworthy (but faraway) cousin as secondary DPOA and executor.

After mom's hubby passed away, mom became furious and defensive when I asked if she wanted to review/revise her primary and secondary DPOA and executor. After a few rounds of this stalemate I decided, "Fine. When it hits the fan, I'll know more about this mess than the befuddled proxy. And we'll figure it out together."

Not too long ago, Mom passed away. Cousin Jerry, who lives hours away, was suddenly on deck. He hadn't been to my parents' home in over a decade. My parents had never walked him through their paperwork. Not when he signed on as back-up, and not during the 10 years everyone stuck their heads in the sand and pretended it would never come down to this.

Cousin Jerry took a couple days off work, and flew into town to open the estate. And had no idea where my parents hid their bank statements, investment reports, tax records, deeds, life insurance policy and will. I knew where some -- but not all -- of that stuff was squirreled away. Together, we scrambled.

Cousin Jerry has done (and is doing) an exemplary job as executor. From afar. Which leaves me as first contact for many of the estate's complexities. I live nearby, so I'm the relative who these neighbors and business partners and key players know. Whereas they have never met Cousin Jerry.

My liaison role has more day-to-day hustle than the executor role. It's disruptive, and 90% of people's inquiries (or my follow-up) needs to happen during business hours, a.k.a. while I am at work.

Cousin Jerry and I work well together. But on my bad days (and there have been many), it burns me up that my parents didn't think highly enough of me to officially give me this job. Yet they knew that Cousin Jerry couldn't do this job from afar without me stepping in as the shadow force.

For what it's worth, this is far from the craziest decision/non-decision my mother made over the past few years. Sometimes you just have to ride out the sh*tstorm. I guess there are people out there who had wonderful final years with their parents. But I don't know very many.
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Lil1Bro, then your sister-in-law is doing a huge injustice for the rest of the family by not having a Power of Attorney assigned. Without a POA, she could become the ward of the State, and the State could take over her care and finances.

I do understand that it can be difficult to talk to a relative about their finances. I never knew what savings my parents had until my Mom passed and I had to take over the finances [via a DPOA] as my Dad wasn't able to manage the money himself.
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Thank you all for your responses, they have been very helpful, but I am afraid she sees no need for a DPOA as she has only her 401K and a banking account and will not discuss this. Thanks again and Bless You everyone. Li1Bro
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Beneficiaries have NO authority to do anything. Nor can you handle financials without some sort of POA. You would need a Health Care Proxy to talk to her MD's. When she dies the Executor of her Will then takes over.
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Hi Lil1Bro,

Igloo572 raises a very important point about trying to find long-term care facilities that will accept obese patients. This can take a great deal of time and research, so it is important to know what to look for and try to plan ahead as much as possible. This article may be able to help you when you decide to begin the search:

6 Tips to Help Find Residential Care for a Bariatric Patient
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/6-Tips-to-Help-Find-Residential-Care-for-a-Bariatric-Patient-199779.htm

Best of luck to you!
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Lil1- you know depending on Aunties finances & level of care needed, there may not be any $ left. That 401k may be drawn upon to pay for her care. The costs of care in the US are staggering. NH run 5k -15k a mo; AL maybe 1/2 that. If they live long enough, they are likely to outlive their $$$.

Are you her DPOA & MPOA, the executor named in her will, the beneficiary on the 401k and life insurance policies? If not, really please please please get these done now & before she moves into AL. Auntie pays for all legal too.

If auntie is really a big, BIG lady, she may need to find a facility who has the equipment and staffing for the profoundly obese from the get-go. Often facilities will not take them as residents over time as they require a higher level of care, so even though you get her into a place after a couple of months, family finds themselves facing a 30 day notice to move them as the facility cannot provide the level of care needed. Caregiving for the obese are a huge (pun intended!) problem for facilities.
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No. If he 401k has a beneficiary then it will be paid out to the beneficiary. If it has no beneficiary it becomes part of her estate once she passes, which after probate would go to her heirs. The nursing home's outstanding bills of course need to be paid but anything leftover would go to her heirs.

And I didn't know we still used the word "spinster" lol. I guess I'm one of those too hahaha.

Angel
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Make an appt with a lawyer who specializes in elder law.
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