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I'm new to all of this. My sister is the only one elected as POA for my parents "because she is the oldest" and she doesn't want anyone else on it. I live near them, she is thousands of miles away working full time. I received previous advice on here that I should just let her handle everything and walk away, which I get, but there are multiple challenges: 1). Any decision she makes as POA will ultimately affect me, as I'll be the one here with my parents and stepping in when there is a crisis or a health issue. 2). I'm not sure if I can make emergency medical decisions if I'm with them and can't get ahold of her. I'm thinking I will have no authority and tried to explain this to my parents but she is telling them otherwise. 3). I don't necessarily trust her and def don't trust her fiance, as he is fighting hard to keep me out of everything, including writing checks or using their credit card to make purchases for them, as I will need to since sis won't be here.


Basically, sister will have power over everything but I will be here, having to pick up any balls she drops and having to communicate with her to get anything done, which I don't have time to do and don't want to deal with her toxicity.


I've googled around trying to find more information on this to show them so it's not just coming from me, but have only found articles with the basic information. Anyone have resources? Thanks in advance.

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Are you speaking with your eldest sister and let her know how you feel? Can’t you just tell her (then) how you feel?

What about the second sister? So those 2 sisters have flown the coop and you are there picking up the pieces.

Might your father get involved and change the POA over to you?

I would strongly suggest to your father that the POA needs to be updated & changed to you (if you want it). It just truly makes more practical sense for the POA to be you as you are the “boots on the ground” so to speak.

If this isn’t settled to your liking (the family decided to do nothing) then I would not continue performing this role.
If your sisters & father agree with the current set up, then starting today to re-route all questions from you to them.
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Your response said "sisters". Are there other sisters near by? If Mom has Dementia not much you can do there bit if Dad is ok then he can change the POA. I am surprised the lawyer didn't suggest a child who is closer. I would hate trying to deal with my parents problems if I had to call the POA for every little thing. Can ur other sisters talk to Dad about how hard it is to have a POA so far from home.

Sister needs to carry out her responsibilities which are making sure bills are paid and Mom and Dad have enough to live on. I just found out that SS checks can be downloaded to a debit card. My nephew uses his for food, his phone and expenses. He loves it. I handle his annuity that pays utilities and rent. She should also be available when parents are in the hospital. If ever one of them needs LTC she is responsible to sign papers.

Like said, just tell Dad, you need to talk to sister directly. You gave her POA and its up to her to solve your problems. When he complains tell him this is the way you wanted it.

The one doing the caring should have POA. With me, I am the oldest and the closest.
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AnonymousUser Mar 30, 2019
No, they are both thousands of miles away. They did not have a lawyer, this was all done in secret several years ago and my parents are convinced it's all good and sis is the best option because she is the oldest and has a "medical background" (she worked in a non-medical position in a nursing home). Dad says he is staying out of it. It is so frustrating but I am taking a step back and letting my sister do her thing. So hard. Thanks for the information and your response.
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Thank you. Yes I am hearing this from many people. It's hard...but I agree and am writing that letter today.
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My guess is that you are doing as much as you can for your parents, and you are also worrying about whether you may be in trouble for over-stepping your rights. The result of this is to limit the problems for both your parents and your sister - in particular for your parents. They chose your sister, but they are still getting you whenever they want. No problem!

One way to make things change is to step back, certainly from doing anything that really needs the POA. Don’t run around contacting her for your parents – it’s their responsibility to deal directly with the sister they chose. Tell them that you have consulted a lawyer (me – though not in your jurisdiction!), and you have been told that you are overstepping your legal rights by being the bridge between them and her. She needs to be responding to them, not to you. (This is certainly true to safeguard your own risks - you are very vulnerable to either sister or parents for accusations that you have misrepresented what you are hearing or doing)

For other things that don’t really need the POA involvement, you can choose how much to do, but it might be a very good idea to become a bit more helpless - ‘I don’t know what’s best, please contact LoopyLou and let her decide/ organise it’. Taking a holiday somewhere else could be a good idea too.

This is likely to be a real pain in the neck for your parents, and get your sister angry with you for making her situation more difficult. Tough! There are two choices – your sister takes over day-to-day issues, or your parents change the POA to you so that you can do it. Are you willing to be POA? If so, you have to stop doing the work without the authority. It’s your parents’ choice, not your sister’s.
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AnonymousUser Mar 30, 2019
Thanks for taking time to respond. I totally agree that facilitating conversations between my parents and sisters need to end. Didn't think about the legal ramifications. Dad was in the hospital last week, very confused and hallucinating so he couldn't converse with my sisters about what was taking place. Mom's state of confusion/dementia worsened as well. Since my sisters weren't here, I felt obligated to communicate with them...but moving forward they will have to talk to the doctors and nurses. Sad. There are things that they cannot understand when not personally observing mom and dad. Had I not been with dad at the emergency room. where they were going to send him home, he may not be alive. Just a tough position to be in. I can't change it though and like you said, it's their choice. :/
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Unfortunately Ahmijoy is right. Your sister can do what needs to be done through emails, online, and phone. It really isn't fair to you to have the physical responsibility without the authority. But there is nothing you can say or do. Your parents have made their decision. Your best bet is to step back and let your sister handle all the details. I understand all to well how you find this hard to except. You want what is best for your parents and you want them to be safe. But sometimes we have to let go and let things play out the way it will. Sigh!

If your sister wants the control and power "let her have it."

If it was me, I would not want to care for my mother if I didn't have any authority. I would choose to be just a supported daughter.

I say let your sister have "all" the responsibility!

Sometimes we just have to let the chips fall where they may!

Something to think about!!!
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AnonymousUser Mar 30, 2019
Thanks for your response. It is very difficult knowing that this is not what is best for my parents and watching this all unfold and feeling helpless. I spoke with a friend this morning and she said exactly what you said. I will be the supportive daughter, as much as I can, and let my sisters handle this. Much more emotionally healthy for me.
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You will probably get the same advice as last time. If your parents are mentally competent they can appoint anyone they want as POA. If there is a health emergency, your sister can give permission for treatment over the telephone. As POA, your sister has the power to write checks, pay bills and arrange for things like grocery home delivery, home repairs, medical bills, etc. She can have the bills sent to her and handle everything else online or over the phone.

Since you obviously have a rancorous relationship with your sister, step back. Send her a letter and explain that since you have no power or rights regarding your parents affairs, you will be stepping back. Suggest she hire an in-home aide to help with household chores and such. If the aide goes daily for a short time, she can also assess any situations which might come up.

You can, of course, visit your parents often, but make sure your sister knows you will no longer be accepting any responsibility for their welfare.
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