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Power Of Attorney for an Elderly Parent

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There are a variety of reasons that it makes sense to have an elderly parent assign power of attorney to an adult child. This is a guide about power of attorney for elderly parent.
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By 0 found this helpful
September 18, 2007

I strongly suggest if you have a parent still living that they make you power of attorney over them, in case something happens to them where they might have to wind up in the nursing home. The state will otherwise take their home and property.

By Wendy from Enid, OK

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 18, 20070 found this helpful
Top Comment

We have recent experience with this. Pop came to live with us almost 6 years ago, right after selling his home. As it became more difficult to care for Pop here at home because of his multiple dementias, we starting looking into nursing home placement. We discovered that here in FL, if he had sold property in the past 5 years, all of the monies from that sale could be taken to pay for nursing home care. The intake staff member I spoke to at one of the nursing homes we investigated informed me of this practice, and told me that if Pop had already distributed the money to loved ones, those loved ones would be required to refund those monies for his care. We were in shock to say the least.

Because Pop had indeed disbursed his funds early to ensure that money went where he intended it at a time that he felt would do more good than after his death, we kept on caring for him in our home until he was well past the 5 year mark, to be certain that grandkids wouldn't have to return money that had been gifted to them for college tuition.

We are now in the process of getting Medicaid to fund his nursing home costs. A problem that we have run into is that Pop has two cash value life insurance policies and Medicaid policy is that these must be borrowed against down to a certain very low level and used for Pop's benefit prior to Medicaid benefits kicking in. Medicaid is entitled to up to $2500 dollars of the cash value of each policy if we can't manage to spend that money.

Thankfully, my husband has power of attorney for his dad, which enables him to request the cash value and use it to pre-pay funeral expenses and pay towards the accumulating debt for Pop's upkeep. Hospice is funding the nursing home care, and any monies that we can't use up on Pop's behalf can be donated to Hospice as an acceptable expense. We are also using the funds to covers medications for non-Hospice related conditions, such as his thyroid and blood pressure meds.

Something very important to know is that powers of attorney for parents MUST be completed PRIOR to any diagnosis of dementia. Once a person is diagnosed or receiving treatment for any form of dementia, that individual is no longer considered legally capable of assigning power of attorney to any other individual. In order for a family member to gain power of attorney once a parent has been diagnosed with dementia, it takes several thousand dollars in legal fees and several months, sometimes as long as a year, before that power of attorney is finally granted by a judge. We learned about this in a class about Alzheimer's conducted by one of our local hospitals.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

Their home and property may still be taken, but with Power of Attorney, at least you can legally act on their behalf.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

Spoken from experience, I'm sure. I'm thankful to still have both my parents in pretty good health when I'm up to 54 years old. I will check it out.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

I would think an elderly person just needs a will....how can anything be taken away then or did you mean taken away by the nursing home to pay for it? I just I didn't totally understand the post.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

The lady is correct(of course depending on the state) in some states at least the state can end up taking control of every thing. check it out.

Here this can be covered by ownership of property, bank accounts, etc. being listed - co-ownedship with right of servival. That way if anything happens to your parent, you become soul owner.

Having a power of attorney in addition is also a good idea.

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 18, 20070 found this helpful

Here in Kentucky you need to transfer what you have, over to the person you can trust. If not in you go to a Rest Home, then your land has to sell, in give back to the state what they paid, for your care.

My husband in I did this to protected what we have worked so hard for.

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September 18, 20070 found this helpful

Hi...I am going throught this at the present time and thankfully my mother put me as power of attorney 12 years ago and we also put her house in all three of our names...my brothers, mothers and mine....with all benifits going to survivors....this way they can't touch her house...we put her in a nursing home as she has Alzheimers and couldn't care for herself...when it comes to shutting everything off in the house such as lights, phone, cable, garbage...every place ask if you have the power of attorney and some make you send a copy so I would definately agree if you have elderly parents get it done as soon as possible you will be thankfull in the long run....it is a very hard process to take care of your parents....they just don't understand what is going on....Good luck to all.....Barb from Rothbury, Mi

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 20, 20070 found this helpful

In Pennsylvania, I dont think Power of Attorney prevents nursing homes from taking your property. It only authorizes you to pay bills from their accounts and take care of their responsibilities when they are not able.

I am in the process of making my will. I've changed the name on the deed to my house to that of my son. If this is done 5 years before I enter a nursing home, the nursing home cannot lay claim to the house.

best wishes,

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By guest (Guest Post)
September 27, 20070 found this helpful

My mother currently is receiving a "homestead tax" on her property, a reduction of real estate taxes. If the house is put into one of the kids name, does that mean she will lose that exemption and have to pay full taxes on the property? Also, I need to know if I become POA for my mother, do I have to put my name on bank accounts, etc?

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September 27, 20070 found this helpful

I really don't have an answer for you - sorry.

But I do have a little advice, if you don't mind some.

Before my Dad passed away last year, we found out that there are lawyers who specialize in 'elder care' for senior citizens.

Maybe it would help to consult one. Good luck with your Mom, too.

Best regards from Smoochie :)

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September 27, 20070 found this helpful

In the RSA, the Law Society advises on lawyers specialising in these matters. I do not know the structures overseas, but try to find out whether there exists a similar organisation. Maybe even a welfare organisation specialising in elder care would be able to advise.

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April 8, 20170 found this helpful

My mom has Alzheimer's we live in Maryland it's a very long story but I'm gonna get to the point well try. My family is very divided however when my mother fell ill my aunt who has a high position at the courthouse and my mother somehow attained POA over my mother which I find odd because my mother would never agree to that she never liked her sister my aunt and my grandmother lived in South Carolina I would think I have to be in the state to do paperwork but I know my aunt because of her job and connections made it happen the only problem is me and my siblings take care of my mom and have been doing so since she was diagnosed and we feel we should be POA I mean for god sakes my grandmother is 76 she can barely keep up with herself recently I decided to get life insurance for my mom and they said I needed the POA document and their signature well my aunt refused and said that me my brother and sister don't need it's all a power thing to her and I'm lost I don't know wat to do I cry myself to sleep almost every night somebody please help me I don't know wat to do

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April 9, 20170 found this helpful

My mom has Alzheimer's we live in Maryland it's a very long story but I'm gonna get to the point well try. My family is very divided however when my mother fell ill my aunt who has a high position at the courthouse and my mother somehow attained POA over my mother which I find odd because my mother would never agree to that she never liked her sister my aunt and my grandmother lived in South Carolina I would think I have to be in the state to do paperwork but I know my aunt because of her job and connections made it happen the only problem is me and my siblings take care of my mom and have been doing so since she was diagnosed and we feel we should be POA I mean for god sakes my grandmother is 76 she can barely keep up with herself recently I decided to get life insurance for my mom and they said I needed the POA document and their signature well my aunt refused and said that me my brother and sister don't need it's all a power thing to her and I'm lost I don't know wat to do I cry myself to sleep almost every night somebody please help me I don't know wat to do

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April 20, 20170 found this helpful

My elderly naughbour has been in hospital for a couple of months he still has a sound mind he is 89yrs old and he can not return to his home because of his legs wont carry him anymore his stepdaughter came for 2weeks holidays she has put his house on the market and he said he didnt sign any papers for her to do so he already heard it from someone else and he asked me if it was true i told hime yes he was upset n tears in his eyes can she do this without letting him know of any knowledge of whats goin on and it makes me angry shes doin this ???

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July 13, 20170 found this helpful

Want to be a power of

Attorney for my son

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