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So, an update! (And thanks to everyone here who has been so incredibly patient and helpful, I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do this without your support).
I called my parents attorney here to ask if he had their DPOA paperwork, and he called me back right away- super nice guy and very experienced in estate planning. He said he never did a DPOA for my parents. Gave me some resources and advice and even sent over a sample document of things which should be included. He also told me that even if we DO currently have one, it's good to have it updated, often in many states it can be challenged if it is more than a few years old.
Then I emailed my Dad and asked about the DPOA paperwork, he said the attorney did it, and I said no Dad, I just talked to him and he checked all his records and he doesn't have anything. Dad said, but I have a will and I used the attorney's exact language: Yes, you have a will, but wills are for after you die, POA is for while you're living. Two different things. (And shockingly enough, Dad didn't fight me or argue- probably since I was directly quoting the attorney.)
Dad said he remembered doing DPOA paperwork, as do I (my mom was ranting at me that she wanted both me and my brother on there and it can only be one person) but he cannot find it. I suggested perhaps it is in their safe deposit box and it seems they used an attorney in the state where they live to set it up. I know I signed something, but it was apparently quite a while ago and I never got a copy of any documents.
Dad also took all the advice the attorney gave me (Dad trusts him because we've known him for a good 30 plus years)- and even asked about what kinds of things should be in a DPOA. I sent over the form that the attorney emailed me.
The attorney also shared a good website - this is for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys- you can search by state/etc and find someone to work with: www.naela.org
So, I will need to stay on this, but it is progress!
Good morning LBTB! Doesn’t it feel good to make progress!!! I’ve been doing a few little projects at home preparing for a big project coming soon I hope. I was able to cross a few things off my list yesterday and I’m feeling good about it.
Im so happy that your Dad didn’t fight you on this. Good job!
YAY! Progress is SO good. Glad your dad didn't fight you on it. GET THIS DONE NOW because you have to know they both will fight you on this at some point.
I only wish I could have gotten this done with my mom. Would make life much easier right now. That said, it reminded me that she DOES have a will though it's a million years old. I might need to find a copy and get it updated. That might ultimately save me some troubles eventually.
MinutebyMinute- Thanks! YAY is right!
Updating your mom's will sounds like a good idea. Do you have a good attorney in your area?
I know for sure, there's going to be battles around this process on my parent's end.
Part of my strategy right now- Dad is more detail oriented than Mom, so I'm going to keep after him to get most of it done and not involve her too much.
Dad emailed and said he's going to the doctor today to get that part taken care of.
GemsWinner- Thank you! Is just notarizing a DPOA enough? You don't need to have an attorney sign off? I'm sure this varies by state.
Just a suggestion, I am not a lawyer, but you may want to get a conservatorship. This will allow you and your brother equal rights and the ability to act independently of each other if you need to. My sister and I have both conservatorship and guardianship of my mom. We had for my father too until he passed. We were able to sell her house, I pay all her bills, open and close bank accounts and also have access to the safety deposit box. It is much stronger than the POA and we did it without an attorney. Cost was $300 to file the petition, then you get a hearing in front of the judge and it gets granted.
Check your local probate court for free classes on both, they are usually available by local attorneys. You may want to hire an attorney, but we did not and have done great.
Victoria- Thank you, hugs! Dad said today the doctor will be "their" doctor. Chipping away at it.
Dad likes facts, so that is what will continue the momentum on this.
Jules- So it sounds like a conservatorship includes more legal rights for the guardian than a POA? Is that right? Does it supercede a POA? I will do some research online. Thank you for the suggestion!
Update as of Friday morning: Dad took all the POA paperwork to the doctor, doctor is filling it out and it should be done next week. Hooray!
LBTB- I'm in California, and had an elder care attorney last year for my mom who signed and notorized the dPOA for her (I'm her dPOA now) and made a new will for her as well.
It was such a relief to have that taken care of and updated as my sister was the previous dPOA.
Glad you're getting it taken care of! YAY!
Dad actually also got some bloodwork done when he went to the doctor's office- that's a good thing, since he hates the doctor in general. (I'm not even sure when he last went to the doctor).
He said he is going back to get his results this week, and the doctor will complete the POA form.
To say I feel relieved is an understatement. Dad follows through, so I know it will get done. I felt like I failed to make any progress while they were here, but I guess my learning was that this whole process of caring for one's parents is not simple and straightforward. It's not like preparing for a work meeting and walking in with a list of bullet points. It's dealing with humans who are struggling in their own right, and trying to keep ourselves sane and maybe even have a life as we balance work, adult responsibilities, care giving, etc.
And PS I am becoming more concerned about Dad's paranoia. He emailed me at 7:45 this morning, and I didn't get back to him immediately because I was doing work stuff and getting ready for the day. He texted me less than 2 hours later saying "Where are u"? I panicked for a second because he never texts. Apparently he was concerned because he hadn't heard from me. SIGH.
Victoria- I'm actually still surprised at how quickly my Dad followed up on the POA. I think me calling their lawyer was the spark- he sometimes questions me when I say factual things, so having advice from his attorney was credible to him.
The plan is for them to sell their home and buy a condo closer to me (like half an hour away). I had a realtor friend start sending them listings- I get the same listings so I can scan them and suggest ones to my Dad which are a good fit.
I don't think they would go for an AL or MC facility just yet- my Mom needs a LOT of space- so my thought is that they should buy a condo in a desirable area with good resale value, and then we could either rent it out or sell it when they are ready to move again.
I anticipate the "moving" phase is going to take anywhere from six months to a year. I think their home will sell quickly, but I think they will need time to pick the right place here. There are lots of 55+ condos but they are expensive and many of them include "unnecessary" amenities and crazy condo fees.
twills- DPOA is a Durable Power of Attorney. It is basically a document which gives someone (spouse, caregiver, child) the legal right to make medical decisions on your behalf. It has specific directives- it includes things like, "If I am in an accident and am in a vegetative state, I do not want my life to be artificially prolonged" etc . . .
There's also something called POA but that's super basic, if you buy/sell a home and can't be physically present at the closing, you give your attorney the right to sign for you.
Basically, a will is for AFTER someone passes away.
A DPOA is for while one is still living, but may not be able to make decisions for themselves.