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with a financial advisor and friend? After taking care of my Dad until he passed at 93, my brother and family have no contact with me because of hard feelings. The background to this is too long to go into, but the upshot is that I can't trust them to make financial/medical decision on my behalf. What is the best way to ensure my security should I become incapable of answering for myself? A trust with a CPA as financial trustee and a friend as personal trustee to make medical and personal decisions for me, or a DPOA with CPA and a Medical POA with friend for the same purpose? I've already set up a will. I fear, should I become incapable of answering for myself, that my brother - who has little conscience and who would take my savings and leave me destitute - would be given guardianship of me by the courts if my documentation wasn't set up correctly. Have gotten different advise from both CPA and unassociated attorney who specializes in wills. Also, does anyone have any advise concerning who to ask to be DPOA and medical POA? Any advise or insight will really help. Thanks to all who read this and my wishes for your good health and happiness as you continue with caregiving - something I did for our Dad for several years into his 90s. It is a challenge but one I'm now so grateful I did. Hang in there, everyone!

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Ditto RuthieRuth, I have had mixed feelings about clergy. At one point I had very specific instructions. There was a reason for this, and I kept trying to explain, but no one would listen. As it turned out, unbeknownst to me, he had no intentions of carrying out any of my wishes except to take any money I had left for the church. When I discovered that he didn't take anything I said seriously I was furious. In fact, I overheard him saying horrible things about a church employee behind her back. After that I wrote to a central person in the city, someone over his head, saying that the church had discriminated against several members. He was so mad at me, he and his head honchos. They came marching over to my home, and terrorized me. That was something I will never, ever forget, and I have not let them forget, either, much to their dismay. Ha ha.
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ruthieruth, what you are pointing out is that there aren't any perfect solutions. I've seen people leave detailed instructions to spouses, who only followed 85 percent of those instructions--and then did what the wanted or thought was best. It all depends on the person, the situation, and your gut instinct. There are many vultures or simply incompetent people out there.
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regarding both the clergy and the legal aid society.....same issues as with family...don't trust blindly....have been burned by both before...I got lousy advice from legal aid societies, who assumed that just because I had public health benefits forgot that also had an education and the potential to develop assets...or partnerships. clergy can be incredibly biased as well, and ones personal end of life choices might not always jive with ones denominational practices or investing options...sometimes they do, and sometimes there are people that actually do right by a person, but I learned to keep my eyes open.
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ibeenscammed - remember that most cities have legal aid society that may be able to help, if funds are limited. Many retired attorneys help out this way.
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If you don't want to leave the money to family or friends, you might want to consider a charity. It's better than leaving it to the state! At least you get to choose the charity. There are even land trusts, where you can leave your property to a trust for conservation purposes.
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To all - think about the experience and capability of those you designate.
Friend of friend designated former pastor as executor. The guy was going to 'give' the house(700k) away to church member/contractor, to detriment of 7 named in will/trust. Guy was clueless and is still working on things after 2 years - too cheap to hire attorney or accountant. My friend's distribution checks have been rejected by credit union because he can't get the name straight. and so on. Executor has minimal money/investing smarts. Because I have real estate knowledge, I stepped my friend through what should be done, referrals + steps to get it done right. She then had to do extra work to inform clueless executor so house was not given away. Thankfully executor followed the lead to some extent and was amazed at what they got for the house. Church contractor was not interested in paying what house was worth - no surprise.

2) Will the person you designate for health care POA have the time + energy required? Does that younger person have family + parents + a job to deal with?
How will helping you impact their lives? How will it impact their relationships with spouses, children, employer/employees? Is it fair to that person you want to deisgnate?

I am in process of interviewing (geriatric) care managers. Hopefully I'll find one that I click with and can designate that company/person as my POA. and friends can cooperate + advise a care manager. I don't have a friend that I want to saddle with the responsibility, not because I don't trust them, but I recognize the toll it will take. I'd rather have them visit me + have a nice time + not increase their stress.
Provide an alternative designee. Your need/situation may come at the worst time in life for other person and may be too much to deal with.

Fiduciaries, daily money managers + CPAs can assist with money management.
And the attorney should specialize in trusts + wills.

Really think about the expertise + burdens you are going to ask others to shoulder. Provide alternatives. Perhaps include a statement that a designee hire an appropriate professional to help them through the process.
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I'm wondering if you can elect a member of the religious clergy to serve as Trustee. They have to answer to a higher authority. . After all, they might be one of the last people you "see" if you are religious.
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There is also the public conservator for those with no money...worth calling them up and asking (its a county office) if they can be named in this instance...
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#1 Ask your financial advisor
#2 Ask your CPA
#3 Ask your elder law attorney
#4 Ask your PCP
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Me too RuthieRuth regarding the disownment only they never said so. They let me figure it out.
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Yes for those of you with money you can hire medical advocates who serve many roles as well. Some are nurses and some are social workers. This is a growing field.

I don't even have enough money to live on due to what has happened. Every month, I am down to nothing and the debt collectors call and call. Also, I am having a lot of trouble finding a place to live and suitable employment now that I have bad credit.I don't have the money to hire "financial advisor" but what do I need one for? With so little, it can all be managed with pencil and paper, and anyone can write that the piggy bank is empty.
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ruthieruth , you rock.
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Thanks
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How does one find a professional guardian and how much do they cost? Yes to the geriatric care manager. I also wrote down everything, everything and put it in my safe. from self care, to where to find passwords, etc. my advanced directives has LOTS of addendums.....for inpatient care, for home care, for pharmacy...There are directions for the "gee I just dropped dead" scenario and the ""gee I woke up in a coma" scenario and "omg I have dementia" scenario..and the "sudden heart attack scenario. all of which are slightly different in terms of what the care needs would be. There is a stash of cash somewhere for movers to clear out the house and where to take the stuff. There is The prepaid final disposition of remains. Some places scatter cremains at sea so that is done as well. no need to worry about claiming the body or bothering anyone. There is something to be said for that quote about letting the dead bury their own dead. I talk to my doctors. A LOT. I think we are pretty well open about the circle of life and what i need and I don't anticipate any surprises. Of course with my luck there will be some. I speak as someone who pretty much lives at the doctor office as a person with disabilities. Disowned by family since age 14. Used to it.
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Thanks for all the advice. My mother just called me , actually asked the nurse to call her son for her. She wanted to know if I could come and get her, she is tired of being in that place. She said I know I just live close to here so if your busy you could just drop me off at the home. I cannot believe she actually had the mental capacity to suggest that and even come up with a logical solution by just dropping her off. She even laughed about it. The doctor was want her to go into hospice care. I told her I couldnt take her home tonight but would come visit. Then she said well what about tomorrow morning because Im going crazy in here. I cant remember when she has been so cognitive. I could not figure what links to click on at USnews web site. Will go back and try again.
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If you have money, why don't u check out senior living. The one near me has cottages and apartments. If u get to the point u need more care, there is AL. If you need skilled nursing thats there too. They provide meals.
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If you want someone who acts like the "role" of a very-involved daughter (or son), consider hiring a geriatric care manager. This profession is not well known, but is growing. You can find one (in the US) by going to aginglifecare.org and using their "find an aging life care expert" search. Some of these companies will assume guardianship; however, many do not. What's nice about them is that they don't limit their scope to legal issues, medical issues, financial issues, or social issues. They coordinate all of these things to "look out" for you, to help you live the best life possible given your circumstances.
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Correction: should be "in fact". Still no edit function.
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BeenScammed, I think you might not be connecting with the right attorneys. Payment plans can be arranged, if the attorneys want your business.

I'm glad you raised the charitable donation issue. I had completely forgotten about that. I can tell you that the ASPCA will respond; I get communications from them every so often. PBS will also accept contributions.

If you're inclined toward military contributions, VFW and American Legion both help veterans qualify for assistance; they're good organizations.

But there are a lot of scam organizations, especially in the military, animal and cancer fields. I've read of scams in the Native American field as well. One addressed someone who allegedly was collecting for donations to the Native Americans but had his financial hand buried in the donation cookie jar, and was in face sued by the people he was allegedly helping.
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cjrun5 Thinking of you and hoping for the best for you both.
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Thank you, I will pursue it. I enjoy your injected humour. I can relate even though I am a male. I have thought similar for my gender,, then again sometimes I think I have been single to long or just too old and set in my ways. When ones social net work shrinks, its good to hear you are not the only one. Hospital just now called me looks like I have to decide to move mom from assist. liv to full care or hospice, Less a miracle happens in next 24 -48 hrs. Not good
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I'm in UK and in a similar position, no family except a BIL with dementia
my few friends are older than me.
I'm saddened that I've lived long enough for the important people in my
life to be paid companions or internet friends.
My thoughts go out to all in a similar position and I wish there was a group here
for older women (or not so older I'm 59) looking out for one another.
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There's an article on US news website - health.usnews type in No Spouse, No kids, No caregiver ( can't put address - don't want to be booted from this site again!)

I am in the same situation and guess I will have to depend on elder lawyer to figure out a way. My friends have moved or now have grown kids and grand kids and only want to talk to people in the same situation. I supposed I could meet a handsome guy about twenty years younger.... just kidding.

There is also a website based in Asheville about women starting their own communities for older women and looking out for one another. It's called Women living in Community.

This is a real worry and I'm at least glad that I am not the only one.
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Someone mentioned POA being more of a young persons game. Yes since I am doing it and medical and all. I can see the how that idea might be assumed. I think it is a knee jerk reaction. They may have more energy to get things done, but you might think twice about anything else. I have to admit my case has and continues to be a horrendous roller coaster ride. I do currently and have had to make some tough decisions, many that should not be done compulsively. So a young person ? Even a stable one needs to have some life experience under their belt. We do what we have to sometimes and have to make the choices that are the best of what we have to pick from.
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This was informative to me. I am single and currently handling my 90 yr old mothers estate because of dementia. Because of my position and what has happened,plus family are not local I have no one. Had been using my mother for the minor things. I have to say embarrasing as it may be . I cant say I have any close friends or any casual at this time in my life. Who has time to even nurture friendships with taking care of your mother and disabled and taking care on oneself, which I feel Im barely able to do. I have no legal documents drawn up at this time for myself. I have no dependents, i suppose the state would just step in and take everything and appoint someone. I suppose I would not want a sibling to try to snatch any value from my assets so that might be a concern. If I were asked would I like to leave something to someone it would not be any relatives but maybe to some organizations I belong to. I dont think my siblings 2 out of state and 2 live in state can be held responsible for any bills I might owe . It is possibly my understanding that if i have no dependents that the state would even just bury me. I could be misinformed about this. Have very little savings and paying on my home. I suppose I should talk to an EL attorney to become fully aware of the repercussions of my current state of affairs. My choices for designating some one would be neighbor barely acquintances or estranged or nearly so siblings. No close friends anymore.
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I am in the same situation. Two decades ago one of my siblings, the middle boy, decided he wanted nothing to do with me anymore, and he raised his family without me as "aunt" in their lives. It's as if I do not exist. I was never told why, no explanation, nor was there an argument nor fight. I believe they simply decided I was not a good person, so they slowly disengaged even though they lived nearby. I suspect the "in law effect" had much to do with it, but with no communication I will most likely never find out. The other sibling, the youngest brother, rarely communicates with me, and when we do speak on the phone, it's strained.

The middle boy was closest in proximity to my mother when she began to show signs of memory problems. Against her will he forced her into a nursing home, then he took full guardianship, meaning he took over her finances. I believe this was all very carefully planned. I was financially not in any position to travel and couldn't do anything to stop this.

For the next two years my brother deprived me of family money that was rightfully due to me. He was well aware that I didn't even have enough to live on, not even enough to pay my rent nor put food on the table. I was unable to communicate with my mother by phone, and I doubt she could have done anything anyway.

Being incarcerated in the nursing home took its toll on my mom. I believe my brother was well aware that this would break her spirit. I was not told of the real cause of her death but from what I hear, she fell somehow, broke her hip, had a hip replacement and then, died a month later from an infection from that operation.

I grieved alone, knowing that it was best that way. I didn't want to be with my family that had caused me so much harm. No extended family bothered with me, nor even acknowledged my existence.

A year has passed and my brother was assigned as executor due to proximity. He is depriving me of my inheritance (which my mom stated clearly) by stalling, making excuses, and outright lying. I am even deprived of information regarding the estate which he is denying me.

As I figure, my only choice is to write a will ensuring that if I die, the money does not get taken by my brother, but is given to a worthy cause. I have contacted several charities but none so far has even bothered to respond. Do they not want a donation? This is a sizable amount of money.

I also have yet to get an attorney to return my calls and none seems willing to take me on due to my lack of money to pay right away.

I have had some success by doing the following: Threatening to get an attorney, or simply stating that I have one, or have consulted one. This does get results.
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We are splitting the responsibilities between a personal representative and trustee. The personal representative administers the will. The trustee over sees our care. My daughter is responsible, but if she wasn't I would have an attorney be the personal representative, whose job is to over see liquidation of assets, like the house. Our retirement accounts have the "special trust" as beneficiary. The money goes into a "special trust" that the trustee oversees for our care. Our trustee is a professional guardian. I figure they are experts in overseeing care at home or in a facility. By law they have to account for everything they spend. I don't want my family to have to do the caregiving I'm doing. The personal representative also distributes our personal property, like jewelry, photos, etc, according to a signed document that specifies who gets what. Any money left after we die is divided among our kids.
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Cat, you're wise to address these issues now. And they are difficult ones to consider.

First, let's divide care while you're living between financial management of your assets after your death.

This is not a criticism, but hopefully rather clarification. You wrote:

" A trust with a CPA as financial trustee and a friend as personal trustee to make medical and personal decisions for me, or a DPOA with CPA and a Medical POA with friend for the same purpose? I've already set up a will."

1. A Trust, depending on your assets, can be created to provide funding for your care while you're alive, but it also would be the guiding document after your death. The Will would have to be amended to "pour-over" into the Trust so that the provisions dovetailed.

You can have co-trustees with separate and complimentary responsiblities.

2. While you're alive, either a springing POA activated on your incapacity or a DPOA creating authority notwithstanding any incapacity, would be the documents needed for someone to manage your financial and legal assets and activities.

3. A Living Will, or other type of advanced directive, would allow someone to make medical decisions for you if you're unable to or are incapacitated.

The legal and medical grants of authority are separate documents.

4. If you have heirs or friends you want to have your possessions, you can explore creation of dual ownership now, with the assets to be transferred on death. Houses can be retitled this way. Financial assets can be shared this way. But obviously, you REALLY need to be certain of anyone's character, intent, support, etc. before creating these kinds of joint ownership documents.

Second, choice of individuals to act in your behalf. I think this is the more challenging issue.

1. As others have written, friends can act, as can professionals. Be aware that attorneys handling your estate are going to bill it; that could be a significant depletion of assets if billed at the attorney's standards rates. $250 to $300 and up, or even lesser rates for paralegals, will cut into the assets fairly quickly.

And attorneys do retire, or leave firms, so that issue needs to be addressed.

2. Good friends, business associates, etc. might also be candidates. Again, the criteria is how well you know and trust them. Eagle's post is very informative and helpful. She obviously gave a lot of consideration to her plans.

3. Some people rely on church friends; this is an option.

A caveat I have about friends is whether or not they have the knowledge to manage an estate, especially if it's in a trust. If you have reliable friends who don't, you might consider arranging an educational meeting with your attorney to help them be aware of what their responsibilities would be. It would be helpful as well if they could continue to rely on that attorney once their responsibiliies are activated. It provides some continuity.

I think overall that choosing someone, family or not, can be fraught with pitfalls. It's perhaps one of the most difficult choices we make with our lives.

What I haven't yet done for myself is discuss with my own attorney how to create joint assets for what little I have, or assets that are payable on death only so I don't have to worry about my meager assets being a temptation for anyone.

Perhaps the larger concern though is that no one in the family has any legal management experience, and that's not going to change, so I need to plan (as Eagle has done) so that hopefully any and all questions could be addressed by the "manual."

My aunt did this; after she died my cousin told me all her papers were together and in order, and it was easy for him to easily determine what assets existed and how he would manage them.

Wish I could offer more concrete solutions, but sometimes I think people who do have family can be tempted to rely on them, but never really know what could change along the way and whether or not the decisions made were wise.
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I forgot to mention that my sister who complains of being slighted has blocked phone calls form our 96 year-old mother in memory care. I wonder if she is proud of that.
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I am a retired CPA, have two grown, responsible children and was designated as Trustee of my parents assets. My sister, on the other hand, has no children and a poor money management record. She believes that she was slighted and is in the same situation of many here.
My position is that she has created her own misery. We are taking care of her now with quarterly allowance distributions, yet she has cut us all off and only communicates though her misinformed lawyer, causing us unnecessary expense. Her lack of trust in us sets her apart and I believe that her only option is to rely on paid help.
If anyone is in that situation, there are excellent investment advisors who will manage you money and pay your bills. Of course there is always the risk that they will goof up and leave you penniless. Nothing is certain in this world, so always build a strong network before you go nuts.
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