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Responsibilities of a Power of Attorney

Knowing when someone needs a power of attorney and exactly what authority it gives the bearer is important. This guide is about the responsibilities of a power of attorney.

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July 27, 2016 Flag
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In regard to being a power of attorney (PoA), how far back do you have to keep documentation for accounting purposes?

I have been PoA for my mother since 2004 and had to place her in a nursing home due to her dementia 13 months ago. She is now 90 and has enough assets to pay for her care with her private funds for at least a few more years. Because of the the 5-year Medicaid look-back period, I have been discarding all records that go beyond 5 years, and have been doing so on a monthly basis. For example, this month (July 2016) I discarded all records dated June, 2011. Do I need to hold onto everything, no matter how old it is, just in case of an audit (for example, at the request of my siblings) or is 5 years of record keeping sufficient?

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    July 27, 20160 found this helpful

    Your financial responsibility may differ by state. However, I would keep absolutely everything-receipts, bank records, medical, legal and financial decisions etc. Yes, keeping all records is a pain, however, it is better to be able to prove all actions down the line than trying to reconstruct old papers, etc., for evidence!

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    July 23, 2016 Flag
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    Does a POA give me the right to go and remove money if my dad askes me so?

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      July 26, 20160 found this helpful

      @DCA: How far back do you have to keep documentation for accounting purposes? I have been PoA for my mother since 2004 and had to place my mother in a nursing home 13 months ago; she is 90 and has fairly substantial assets. Since then, due to the 5-year Medicaid lookback period, I have discarded all records that go beyond 5 years, and have been doing so on a monthly basis (for example, this month (July 2016) I discarded records from June, 2011). Do I need to hold onto everything, no matter how old it is?

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      July 13, 2016 Flag
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      While my elder sister has never been a real sister to me since I was very young, she has not stopped short of being really mean spirited to me for years in any capacity that she could.

      She holds POA for my mom; both live in Florida. My mom divorced my father and moved to Florida about 18 years ago when she retired at the age of 70. I live in Connecticut. Since my mom moved to an assisted living facility 4 years ago, my sister has done everything possible to interfere with my ability to communicate with my mom.

      Examples: 1) when my mother changed rooms within the facility and was assigned a new phone number at the facility, my sister not only refused to share that information with me, but actually blocked me from getting it from the assisted living facility. I called the police and they said I have to hire an attorney. 2) When my mother fell and broke her hip bone and the artificial hip she had, the day after my mom's surgery, she went off on a cruise, leaving my mother alone. After 2 to 3 weeks of recovery Mom was transported to a therapy center to recover, my sister refused to tell me where she was sent after repeated requests and my mother telling her to communicate that to me. I had to call all the facilities in the area for 3 days to find my own mother. 3) I now have learned from my younger sister that my elder sister (POA) has not started taking my mail that I send to my mother and has not given it to her. I do not know if she will. The mail is letters to my mom from her mom over 60 years ago, which my mother has been waiting for now for 2 weeks. She has nothing like that from her mom.
      While I understand she (POA) does not need to communicate things about my mother, she has successfully blocked my ability to get any information about my mom's health, send her mail, and get information if she moves to a hospital or even if her phone number changes. I can only imagine that she will now change my mom's telephone number so I cannot have access to speak with her anymore. When I visited my mom a few months ago, we tried to add my name to the assisted living facility roster so I can get even updated contact information about my mom, and even my mom has been blocked from changing this because a few years ago she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease.

      Please help if there are any other options without going through a very costly court battle which I cannot afford. My mom is 89 this year and is not well. She may not have another year left.
      Thank you so much!

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        July 15, 20160 found this helpful

        A POA usually addresses only medical and financial issues unless there is specific language for other issues-rarely!. Your sister's POA most probably has nothing to do with all the problems you detail. Unfortunately, your sister's POA does not legally require her to contact you for any reason regarding your mother. You face a serious sibling issue that you both will eventually need to address yourselves or contact an attorney to assist a in a meeting to address your concerns.

        I would also be concerned about your mother's finances and what your sister may have done regarding your mother's bank account monies and other financial accounts. As POA, she is required to be able to support every penny she has ever removed or spent from all of your mother's accounts.

        Unfortunately, unless you both can meet and come to an agreement about the communication issues, you will probably need to seek legal assistance to address the problems. You can find an attorney specializing in POA and elder care issues in Florida from the Florida Bar Association site:

        http://www.barassociationdirectory.com/fl/florida-bar.php

        Good Luck!!!

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        October 28, 2015 Flag
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        I was POA of my dad. He passed and I found out a POA is only good when they are alive. My question is before he died I moved money from his account to mine am I allowed to do this? He had no will, no living trust, no house, and no property. I payed all his bills and closed all his accounts as well. Any help would be appreciated.

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          Anonymous Flag
          April 12, 20160 found this helpful

          I am not a Lawyer but I have experience of this..

          You can transfer the money and it is a good idea as you may need it to pay the Inheritance Tax due.

          Then you should declare the amounts of the gifts to you on the Probate forms. If the amount is more than allowed over the seven years prior to death then there may be tax to pay if the estate and the gifts are over the tax threshold. 325000 for a single person, 650000 for a couple.

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          May 24, 2016 Flag
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          I have a medical and legal power of attorney for my brother. He has been in and out of the hospital. We learned yesterday that his roommate now owns his home. My brother thought he was making a change to his will a year ago. Now he found out he titled the deed to his roommate. The lawyer involved did not know my brother had a will. His roommate did. It only gave a percentage to the roommate upon his death. Is there anything I can do to help him get his house back in his name? I was not informed of all this when it happened.

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            May 24, 20160 found this helpful

            Also-check with your brother's bank and all other financial institutions to see if your brother has made any changes to his existing accounts that may have been changed with prompting by the roommate.

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            June 18, 2016 Flag
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            My brother is power of attorney for my mother. They reside in Georgia and I live in Maryland. My mother is living in an assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients. When my mother has been admitted to the hospital or taken to the emergency room, my brother no longer informs me. He contacts my sister, aunt (mother's sister), and uncle (mom's brother). As power of attorney, is he obligated to inform me of her illness. I feel as though I have been alienated. Please assist.

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              June 19, 20160 found this helpful

              Your brother, with a power of attorney (POA), has no legal responsibility to inform you of your mother's medical condition. POAs usually only address medical and financial issues, not sibling problems. However, this may vary depending upon specifically how the POA was written.

              It appears there are sibling issues that should be addressed now, instead of letting the situation continue at a low boil until a medical crisis simply worsens an already difficult status. You have two options-consider a meeting of all the sibs to address all problems that may exist. Of course, this may be difficult and you may need a relative, friend or attorney to act as monitor.

              You may also consider retaining an attorney in Georgia who specializes in elder issues and POAs to assist in clarifying and addressing all issues. You can search for an attorney who handles these issues in the Georgia Bar Association:

              https://gabar.org/

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              June 9, 2016 Flag
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              My aunt has POA over my grandmother. After a recent yearly visit (I live in the UK and Grandmother lives in Hawaii), I noticed bruising on both my grandmother's arms. The home carer also documented the bruising. When questioned my grandmother said to the carer, to ask her daughter about it. When I asked my grandmother, she said her daughter sometimes grabs and shakes her.

              I confronted my aunt and she denied causing the bruises without giving any explanation of how those bruises appeared. She has now banned me from visiting my grandmother at the house where they live, and even at her day care lodge.

              My grandmother has also had very bad diarrhea and lost much weight. On inspection of the fridge that most of the food was moldy and tins of food over 2 years old. This was being fed by my aunt to my grandmother.

              I have contacted the local authorities who are now investigating my complaints, but they will not give me any information with regards to progress due to not having any legal right to it.

              If the local authorities do not remove POA can I apply to the courts to have the POA removed from my aunt to have it controlled by the State? What are my chances?

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                June 9, 20160 found this helpful

                I strongly suggest that you immediately retain an attorney in Hawaii who is experienced in elder care and POA issues to represent you and your grandmother in this situation. You can search for appropriate attorneys via the Hawaii Bar Association:

                http://hsba.org/

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                December 19, 2015 Flag
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                I have durable power of attorney over my 76 year old dad and I live with him. I am trying to encourage and prevent him from driving because he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's/dementia and has quite a bit of hallucinations, memory loss, lack of motor skills, and reasoning, etc. He continues to argue with me that he is not crazy (those are his words, not mine) and he is quite capable of driving.

                I received info from another legal source that I can be held responsible for an incident, such as if he gets into a car accident and kills someone else. They can hold me responsible for the death of the other person because I am aware of my dad's health issues and I could even go to jail. I have been trying to collect all tangible information I can on this ailment and the legal ramifications and hopefully some serious communication from his doctor to try and get a handle on this issue. I just want to make sure what legal and/or criminal responsibilities I may incur if something like this happens. If anyone knows the actual case law so I could look it up, that would be great.

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                  March 6, 20160 found this helpful

                  My dad was the same way wanting to drive when he shouldn't so we took him to the DMV and he had to take the test and a vision test that he didn't pass. So he was upset and i asked the woman helping us what can i do she seen how my dad was a talked to him explaining to him why he couldnt't drive, sometimes being as they are our parents don't want to listen to there children so because it was someone else talking to him an athourity figure he listen was still upset but knew he could no longer drive. She then suggested we just get him an ID for identification so we ended up doing so. My dad was very stubborn and set in his ways maybe have an employee talk to him and explain why hes is not able to drive anymore.

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                  March 6, 2015 Flag
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                  Long story short, my BF lives in the United States, but I do not. He was incarcerated, but gave me power of attorney to try and sell his vehicles. The problem is his vehicles are under financing and a lean loan. Should I inform these companies that he is incarcerated? Or just tell them I have POA and need to know how to sell them? My fear is they will try to reposess them because no payments have or can be made on them. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

                  By FeelingHelpless

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                  March 6, 20150 found this helpful
                  Best Answer

                  Unfortunately to sell 'Secured' property as you describe, it must be paid off prior to selling it...usually. I would recommend contacting the lean holders to work out a deal of some kind. Also the POA may be invalid if your boyfriend executed it while incarcerated as he has lost his Citizen rights, including entering into contracts, which a POA is. On the bright side, the lean holders do NOT want the property back. It's a money losing pain in the butt deal for them so if you contact them & are honest about the situation, they may allow you to sell the vehicles to satisfy the loans, at least. Hope this helps. Best Wishes.

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                  January 2, 2016 Flag
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                  I live with and take care of my mom. My sister has POA and she is always saying she is going to take my house, my name is on the deed, and change my mom's will. She also told me because she has POA she can come into my house anytime she wants and do whatever she wants. Is any of this true?

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                    March 30, 20160 found this helpful

                    NO ! POA's cannot benefit financially !!!

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                    May 31, 2016 Flag
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                    I need direction. My aunt (mom's sister) passed away. My aunt has no parents or children so Florida law says my aunt's siblings are to inherit her estate (aka: my mom). If my mom wants me to handle the attorney and estate issues (the story is much too long), do I need to get a power of attorney from her to act on her behalf? Thank you for any and all insight. I don't even know where to begin.

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                      May 31, 20160 found this helpful

                      I strongly suggest that you discuss your concerns with an attorney experienced in wills, estates and elder issues. Once you understand the laws, etc., you can then decide the best way to handle your mother's estate issues. The best way may indeed be to retain an attorney to manage your mother's concerns. You can then be assured that all issues and questions are correctly and legally handled.

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                      December 13, 2015 Flag
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                      My mother fell and broke her hip. She gave me power of attorney over her. She has a grandson staying in her home. He doesn't pay rent he just stays there, he has no job, and depends on my mother for money. How do we go about getting him out of the home?

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                        Anonymous Flag
                        May 19, 20160 found this helpful

                        Yes answer

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                        October 12, 2015 Flag
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                        My dad is in a nursing home. My dad's brother wants to get power of attorney. He is 70 years old has been schizophrenic since childhood. If he gets in charge of my dad's money he will steal it. Is there anything I can do to stop him? Will the court even consider giving him power of attorney?

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