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Gotta have that conversation - avoids conjecture which is needless in the future.
"Our lawyer has recommended that we name 1 person as Power of Attorney. We have named _______. It doesn't mean we love anyone less or think the rest of you can't handle it. It's just practical - only one can be named.
Our lawyer said things get crazy difficult if more than 1 person is named. This is why we did this. OK?
And, let it go. They will recover from any hurt feelings much better now while you can discuss any fall out - imaginations go pretty wild when you are not able to clear the air at time of old age, infirmity or sickness."
I would personally add that it is a PIA job.
Our kids are "in the know" following our appointments with CELA. Oldest son accompanied us to meetings as he is local and totally responsible. Oldest son and daughter are co-executors as they both live locally. Both have DPOA, etc. although oldest son would most likely take the lead in serious decisions. Other son lives far away and would not be able to participate in day-to-day affairs so he will be a carefree "heir". All three are equal beneficiaries on any pertinent policies; oldest son is co-owner of vacation properties and bank accounts. We live in a renovated carriage house on daughter's property. All three kids are good kids who get along with each other and have no reason to lie in wait for any fortune. The will is constructed so that it all gets evenly distributed in the end and any buyouts are clearly listed. Sounds cold and businesslike, but there are no secrets and at present, everybody is happy.
My mom, now 100 and living in SNF nearby, used to play my brother and me against each other, changing her will depending who she was mad at. Thankfully, I bought out my brother's share of a beach property almost 20 years ago. He visits her maybe 1 time a year (3 hour trip), but he remains the "golden child". She often tells me to "tell Brother to rent the beach house and get some income." I've quit reminding her that I own the beach property, bought out fair and square. Family dynamics are interesting!
My parents had appointed their youngest son as POA and executor. It was a smart move, and I had no idea when it was done. He did an outstanding job under grief. I was happy to help with our mother as caregiver since I was much more suited to do that.
I wish my in laws would have spoken about their wishes and who they had assigned as their POAs. As this was their 2nd marriage they had step dads sons and one of mils sons listed as AND not OR. When step dad 1st reached out for help he came to my husband. Of course we didn't ask about his legal matters, maybe we should have and things could have gone a lot differently than they did.
I spoke to both my children in length and they know EXACTLY what to do with me the minute I am unable to care for myself should that happen. They are both listed as our POAs with the understanding that our daughter will most likely take the lead. We have no money or real estate so there will be nothing for them to fight over. In fact in the years to come should I have to go for an evaluation for alz I may scope out my own bed ahead of time and hope I qualify for Medicaid right out of the gate!
My husbands cousin told me she had her 2 daughters sign off that they would not place her in a home for any reason. I would never do it, but I respect her feelings.