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3rd party POA/Guardian
Has anyone ever turned their POA over to a 3rd party? I am an only child of a single mom. I live 3 hrs away from my mom and she is refusing all of the care she needs (she insists she is fine and doesn't need help when she needs AL). She continuously yells & swears at me, has physically attacked me and the family that does live near her no longer wants to help. I am getting yelled at from all sides & even adult protective services is worthless at helping me. I am young myself and have 2 small kids of my own. I no longer want the responsibility as her medical POA. My family does not want to do it either.
For those who have turned their POA over, how has it been? What are the pros/cons that you've experienced?
Is your POA for financial and medical? Do you want to retain any rights or quit all?
You can certainly "opt out" by putting it in writing (having it notarized is best) and presenting it to your mother (and I would suggest to the attorney who created it, if there is one).
You cannot designate another person to take over those responsibilities unless a second or alternate is named in the original. In that case you should also notify this alternate.
I am unsure of what pros and cons you are looking for. Basically, you are out of the loop on any future decisions or responsibilities for the items listed in the POA. That could be a pro and a con.
A lot depends on how the POA is written. If it is a single POA, I don't believe you can opt out of just part of it. You need legal advice.
If you can opt out, then it becomes the alternate's issue to stay in or opt out. If all opt out then your mother would have to find a new person to designate.
How is the medical POA written and why is that the major sticking point for you? The one I have for my parents merely states I can make medical decisions for them if they are incapacitated. Basically meaning I can sign admittance forms and make decisions if they are unable to. Doesn’t force me to make doctor appointments and physically drag them into the car. Although I have been handling and attending their medical appointments. Unless she’s unable to communicate her wishes to the doctor/ hospital, the form isn’t really activated. Giving up medical POA isn’t going to reduce your problem much at all. You are still next of kin and you will still be asked to make medical decisions when they can’t
I have medical POA for both parents. Full for my Mom. Step-dad refuses to give me full and that refusal is causing me all kinds of hardship trying to handle things for him. He’s content to let me unofficially try to do take care of all his stuff, but balks at making it official, that would make me able to have access to money that he transferred out of their joint account into one in his name only. Therefore some of the places make it difficult to handle things that he can’t, he’s basically illiterate.
My main sticking point is that my mom has always been combative, long before her diagnosis. She is 63 w/EO and denies anything is wrong with her. As I stated, I am 3 hrs away with a high level job & 2 small children of my own. My aunts live within 5 minutes of her. They constantly text & harass me about my mom. I did everything to get her into a facility in November and it backfired horribly. My aunts didn't support me at all even though they were pushing for it. A caretaker comes in 2 days/week (which they asked for as well) and all they do is complain. My mom does not want any help, my aunts constantly complain, and I'm tired of being screamed at all the time by all 3 of them. We've tried counseling and having conversations about expectations for her care, but they don't listen. My one aunt said she wished I was dead. I don't need that in my life. I don't deserve to be treated this way. It is just too much stress to deal w/my aunts & manage my mom's medical care, especially when she wants zero medical care at all even though she desperately needs it.
It was not an easy decision, but when my mom screamed & yelled in front of my kids & scared them and then attacked me in the car when we were driving on the highway (in a snowstorm), that was it for me.
I get the idea of wanting to keep your mother’s financial secure, though the reality is your if you control the money, you will be hassled cause said money will be needed for the guardian to take care of the medical issues, and that will limit what they can do. Could even possibly end up with you going to court as they try to get full guardianship if you refuse to pay for your mothers care.
Normally when it comes to shared guardianship they have the 3rd party in charge of the property while the family is in charger of the person. In truth I have rarely ever seen it go the other way. Not saying it is not possible, but you will be hard pressed to maintain control over her property especially with the arguments and reasoning behind why you wish to give up the medical responsibilities.
Also they will look into other aspects, and will question do you wish to keep control of the property because it is your inheritance, and are doing this solely for your benefit. These are things you will have to consider. If you cannot handle it your best bet is to let go of it completely and understand that the guardian your appoint or the court appoints if you goes that far will use your mothers property to pay for her care, and such care is costly and most likely may not see much especially if she does not qualify for Medicaid, or her behaviors like my mother make it difficult for her to be placed in a standard facility.
Difficult behaviors often lead to higher costs in care.
How stressful. I had little ones when in the chapter - very difficult. The benefit of my children came first and I protected them, and it was quite the process to (eventually) get my LO into care.
There are some situations where a crisis must happen in order for you to act. Typically, it comes in the form of an emergency hospitalization. You will have a better outcome if you know where you are going to place your mother, preferrably near you. Easier to moniter care, easier to make life and death decisions, easier to hire a Geriatric Care Manager to do the monitering you don't choose to do - one that you have actually met with.
Discuss with your lawyer, but just because you have DPOA for medical decisions does not mean you have to provide the care yourself. Consider the child with DPOA who lives overseas - they hire all of the care and monitering needs from a distance.
You could place yourself in a pretty precarious situation if you give a third, disinterested party DPOA for medical. Why should they care if she is in the most approriate facility for her? She just becomes a case file on a desk. Things were pretty contentious in my family for a bit - but my attorney said in all but the most extreme of situations, retaining the DPOA is in the best interest of your LO. Hire the help
An institutional medical POA gets paid whether your mother is placed in a dump or good care. You could find yourself in a situation where you are unable to move her to a better place.
I have thought about the quality of the institution that she goes into and if it's garbage. I would not appreciate that. Maybe it's just a matter of having someone on the outside help & push for the AL facility. I thought that is what protective services was going to help me with, but all they say is her house is clean & she has food so she's ok. I don't know their definition of clean, but her house is gross & falling apart. The caregiver does the shopping & food prep, but no one is there to keep her in the house at 3am or deal with her rampages at night. She needs a 24/7 facility.
The incident that happened is November is that I researched and found a facility near me. My mom has been saying she wants to be closer to me and away from my aunts. I brought her to my house & when I tried to take her for a tour, she flipped out. She was screaming in the parking lot, swearing at me & the staff, refused to go inside in the pouring rain and started walking down the street. It was an hour of this before we called it quits & I brought her back to my house. The facility said she needed a psych eval & to be on psych meds before they would accept her based on her behavior. The doctor & I have discussed this before, so I said ok I guess it's time. My mom refused to speak to me the rest of the weekend & was awful to my kids (age 7 & 2 at the time). On the drive back to her house across the state, she attacked me while I was driving. I really thought she was going to kill us both. I cried the whole way home. That night, I called adult protective services to help me. I called her Dr. on Monday morning & we made arrangements for her to be taken to the ER by the police. Well the police then said I needed an order from the court. It became a whole thing. Later that week an ambulance took her to the ER for the psych eval. The doctor & social worker spoke to the ER & they knew the plan. At the ER, they said my mom was fine & was being held against her will. They disregarded the POA & Letter of Incapacity and sent my mom home. Naturally my mom was upset & furious and didn't speak to me for 2 weeks. The plan was for her to go to the psych facility & then be transferred to AL by me. The doctors & I were devastated & couldn't believe the ER. It was such a blow to everything I knew that this was bigger than me and if I went to that length to get her what she needs and it blows up in my face, then what else can I even do??
My short stint with APS they will try to keep a person in their home, and generally assessments will often be favorable for the person unless some major outliers are present.
Also ER's generally even pre covid did not like having to deal with mental health related issues, since often said patients require more active observation.
While looking for placement earlier with my mom asked her what did she like and not like about the place. I got her involved, unfortunately my mother has no money but I did find she did respond more favorably to places she got to pick that had more of an upscale vibe to them and had a higher focus on social interactions and activities. Granted this was pre covid, when I was foolish enough to think it would be wise for me to pay for my mother's placement out if my pocket.
Though yes when behaviors are an issue most places do require medication, I am not sure how you feel about that. Though in truth even with medications complex behaviors can still be cause to have them kicked out depending. The sad truth is especially now many are not equipped to handle the more difficult behaviors associated with the disease. Especially if medications are not a viable treatment option due to other underline issues.
With you all the best.
Turning over either or both powers is really losing any say. What if you hired a professional case manager?
Your lawyer should know of some they can recommend . You'd still hold the purse strings but they should take care of the day to day issues.
And they would be easier to replace if you don't like them since you'd be out of court system.
You want to stay out of the court system.
And I'd just stop contact with Aunts, if they aren't co-POAs but farther down the list alternatives , block and ignore.
Or offer to pay for the attorney to handle the paperwork removing them from the POA list -- they may be upset your Mother may land in their lap AND that they are headed that way themselves.
Care mangers are great, but understand if your mothers behaviors are difficult they can opt out of not taking the case. I have ran into that issue with my mother, and the amount of facilities that will allow someone to be a resident with difficult behaviors may also be limited.
The scary truth is the money will get burned through, decent facility cost is not cheap. I mean if you can get the behaviors in control then it is possible your mother can get into AL, which tend to be cheaper. I hope you are able to, cause from experience with my own mom AL even private pay will not touch a person that is too difficult to handle, even with a care plan from a geriatric psych unit.
In short if you not get her behaviors in check you will be in for a bumpy ride.
My father who still lives at home by himself with dementia did have a court date in November 2021. The judge did approve a 3rd party court appointed law firm in our county. We go back to court Feb 15, 2022 to finalize that part and to get my parents trust and estate oved under this law firms management. Unfortunately, this is necessary because ongoing family disputes with over powering ego maniac sister. Plus, this firm specializes in this kinds of matter and has social workers on staff too.
However, if your' family is cooperating amongst yourselves, than do try to keep it in the family. While this law firm comes highly recommended, their communication is almost non-existent unless I call for periodic updates. At this point, other than poor communication, I can't say yay or nay to a 3rd party. Even if you go with one, your family duties do not disappear..
I’m still not understanding what relief you will get by giving up medical POA and keeping the other? You are still going to be in contact with your mother. Still making financial and other decisions for her. She’s still going to be aggressive. Agitated, etc. Your aunts are still gong to scream at you. Still being the next of kin. What is it that you think you can avoid? What responsibilities will you be able to give up? The medical POA can’t be used to force my parents into assisted living if they refuse to go.
That full POA grants you much more authority and therefore required so much more responsibility from you. That’s why it has to be notarized and signed by you. Even that form wouldn’t be able to force my parents into assisted living if they refused to go.
The medical POA form for my parents had to have a witness for their signatures. No notary needed, There’s no place for me to sign it and no place for me to revoke it. The instruction form states that if all first and alternate medical POA refuse or are unable to make decisions, then the doctors would go to the next of kin. That’s also me. Then they would move on to other family, friends if the next of kin refuses.