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I have both financial and medical POA for my mom. She is 88 and has been diagnosed w/ dementia. The POA says I can make financial decisions about the house, but the bank says I can't without it being in her name.

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Igloo, obviously you know what you're talking about. Great answer. Great advice.
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Letsgo - in another post you said that "mom has dementia and will need nursing home care- her house is paid for, but she has given sizable money gifts in the past 5 yrs to family members- can the home still use her home equity to fund her nursing home care?"

So if this is correct, your mom cannot qualify for Medicaid as there will be a transfer penalty on all those funds she gave away. If the banks just will not go along with allowing a home equity to go through (and most banks will require that the actual property owner be present and cognitive to be able to do this and likely will have her sit in their office on her own with a banker so that they can approve the loan and have it witnessed), you don't have many options. Really your best option is to do what MaggieMarshall said & put the house up for sale.

You will have to use all the proceeds to pay for her care and hopefully there will be enough to pay for a long enough stay in a NH so that it would work past any transfer penalty period of time so that she eventually can qualify for Medicaid. All real property sales are recorded locally & dovetail to the state so the state will know to the penny what the house sold for too. So you need to document if you spend any of the funds on other nonNH things for her - like a funeral or burial policy.
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The simplest way is actually to file for Medicaid. They pay the bill and put a lien on the house. It's too late for a reverse mortgage or home equity loan if she is in a nursing home.
If the bank says the house is not in her name, but you think it is, you need a lawyer to sort things out. You can also check records at your local assessor's office. Very often a husband will die and his name is still on bills and deeds many years later.
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I think it's going to be very difficult for you to get a home equity loan in your mom's name if she isn't going to sign the papers herself. She may be able to sign them, though. But how would she pay it back? From the proceeds of the loan? If you WERE to be able to do that, I would advise that you immediately (if not sooner) put the house on the market and sell it. With the help of an attorney, you can do that with her power of attorney.
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It is currently in her name.
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Try different banks. When as a Trustee I had to get an equity loan on my deceased sister's house, I spoke with 4 different banks before deciding on one. Chase was the only one with people sophisticated enough to handle an equity loan to trustees. And when there were Trust issues, the local banker set up a conference call for me to speak directly with the legal department in another state.

Most of the bankers had no idea how to deal with trusts.
Two of the banks just wanted to advance the entire amount, which was ridiculous.
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Whose name is the house in?
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