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As your Mom continues to progress with this disease, she will need increasing help in a wide variety ways regarding both her financial and health care matters, even if she has little in the way of assets. You will find yourself backed against a wall helpless to make decisions on her behalf without proper paperwork to show those in authority. Despite your last post stating "there's nothing to manage", you seem to already know that there is plenty to manage since you were searching for free on-line forms for her to sign.
I understand an attorney is expensive, but most will provide a consultation for free. You should start there so you understand what you're going to be up against as you continue to care for her.
Finances can be a bear I understand cause I am there also. Check to see if there is an elder law attorney around who will take payments. I lucked out and found one. (still paying it off but I got the DPOA that is iron clad. Only as a last resort would I go to a freebie online location. If you have no other choice try WWW.LAWDEPOT.Com
When you obtain a POA online I think you can have a notary witness the signing..I think it makes it legal...notaries travel to homes, LTC facilities etc. Download a form specific to your state and also read your state rules.
Have you tried Legalzoom online?
dpoa forms are available on line for my state. Probably the same holds true for your state along with state rules.
It will vary by state. In NC we had an attorney do a Durable POA for my Mom at a real estate closing. He only charged us $50 and it had to be recorded at the county courthouse. Her signature was not legible, but was notarized and witnessed and that's all that matters. She was still aware of what she was signing at that time. The medical POA and Advanced Directives I pulled off the computer and had them witnessed and notarized. These were not required to be recorded, so it didn't cost me anything.
I hope you find a way to get those matters taken care of. Our paperwork was done in May. If I waited 3 months, I would not have been able to do them because my Mom has now gotten to the point that she would "not" know what she was agreeing to.
Thank you all for your replies. Not quite sure how I'm going to do all this on my own. I found one through the state website here that I have had for a couple of months. It's just that now it's a reality. I phoned the social worker at the hospital and she suggested talking with the doctor to see if he actually gave her a diagnosis or if it's pending the additional testing. She said he will be able to determine if she truly understands and if he feels she doesn't, he will tell me. When I spoke with my mom, she kept saying to the doctor she wants me to take care of her finances because she was "screwing up". I just found a $600.00 Publisher's Clearing house collection notice due to her ordering her Sudoku and Crossword puzzle subscriptions. I did check to see if she was even doing the crosswords right and it appears she can still do that. But that was a couple months ago.
I think I was in a panic mode. I've had a few days to absorb all that is happening. Still very overwhelming and I'm always on the brink of tears for now...but this too shall pass.
So I just got a call back from the doctor and he can't make a determination until she does the additional testing...so now I'm just confused as to what to do. It would be notarized at a bank.
Another idea; contact her local Bar Assoc. Ask if they have a Certified Elder Law Attorney who will work pro-bono or at a reduced fee.
Yes, the initial consult is often free, but signed paperwork requires money. if court fees are involved, they usually must be paid by you.
Making sure all is done legally is valuable.
The issue is not whether a LO can sign her name, it's whether she is competent to understand the terms of the POA. A reputable attorney will assess whether the LO is able to understand and agree to the terms of the document. If not, it's off to court to obtain a guardianship/conservatorship.
You may need a notary and a witness...both sign in good faith that your mother is totally cognisant of what she is signing.
If you are going to do this by yourself get it done now but know that the more informal the document is the less legal it may actually be. Weigh it out but remember once the Dr has spoken there will be no DPOA.
In many states, a power of attorney is presumed durable unless it expressly states otherwise.
Having been down this road also, I wanted to add my two cents with regard to drafting powers of attorney documents.
Incapacity, or incompetency, are legally two different things. Make sure you discuss with your attorney exactly what your after with regards to advancing dementia. The most obvious definition of incapacity, such as getting conked on the head and being unconscious, is not what we're talking about here.
Rather, we mean when the person has reached a stage of dementia that they can no longer make rational, safe, decisions about their well-being (where they live, how money is being allocated, food, healthcare, etc.)
In some states, it is law that incapacity and/or incompetency can only be determined in a family court, following examination by a panel of experts.
However, if the law in your state permits POA's to contain such a clause, make sure incapacity, what exactly incapacity means, how and when it is to be to determined and by whom (if a doctor or two doctors, what kind of doctors) is defined exactly.
Further it should be explicitly stated that when the principal has been determined to be incapacitated, by the procedure defined in the clause, that agent will be primary decision maker for the principal.
If you have the latitude in your state to define incapacity, and how it is to be determined that can save you time and money. Make sure you discuss this very important clause with your elder care or estate attorney.