Post # 1
Basically Father-In-Law has been in the hospital for weeks, he has given all his bank information to a friend he just met a few months ago who has been driving him to his doctor appointments and such.
H is very upset by this because he is paranoid that his dad is being taken advantage of yet again. Last year some people he knew basically cleaned out his entire savings. H is also paranoid that the power of attorney will require their bank accounts to be merged and that these other friends will have access to his information because his dad will almost definitely tell them everything.
Father-In-Law is late on rent and his next month’s rent is due this week as well as bills so we agreed to pay it, but Father-In-Law does not have a name or number for his landlord and the last thing we want to do is get this information from his friend because H is afraid that maybe these are their bills and not his dad’s and he feels like he doesn’t know this people at all so he can’t trust them.
We’ve been trying to get Father-In-Law to live by us but he won’t do it and I feel like H is getting to the point where he’s going to try to force his dad to live in our area. It’s nearly impossible for us to take care of him and make sure he’s not being taken advantage of if we live almost a thousand miles away from him.
I asked H why FIL’s brother can’t just be power of attorney for him and he said that that’s not how it legally works. But H is in his early 20’s and I feel like this is a lot for him to handle, he doesn’t even feel like he can handle this responsibility. A few years ago his mom made him power of attorney too and I just don’t understand the whole thing. H has an older brother but he is a former addict and has a criminal history so both parents don’t want to give that responsibility to him, Mother-In-Law and Father-In-Law are divorced. I feel like H has been avoiding handling anything to do with his dad because it’s so confusing–his dad has gone from being wealthy do being homeless and from being stable and around to being an alcoholic and throwing up in restaurant bathrooms from it and I don’t think either of us knows what to do in this situation. I also feel like Father-In-Law has been slowly killing himself with all the drinking and drug use he’s been doing and I feel like this is affecting H terribly so he tries to pretend like it’s not an urgent matter.
Post # 3
@tmsing: My husband became power of attorney for his mom when she was very ill. It doesn’t mean you have to merge any bank accounts. If it’s medical POA that person basically has the responsibility of deciding what’s to happen medically. My husband had to give them the “ok” to take his mom off the breathing machine. He was also her POA financially. This just meant he was on her bank account as POA. He could not close the account or make any changes, he strictly is able to see what’s in there, make deposits & withdrawls. I’m not sure if every state is different though.. once the person passes the POA is void and they can no longer get access to the bank accounts. That’s why it’s also VERY important to be executor of that person (basically same as POA, it just takes over after the person passes.)
I think it’s very important to have someone you know & trust as a POA, technically they can drain the bank account as long as you’re still alive if they wanted to. It is a lot of responsibilty and scary to be someone’s POA, but your husband should do it. And trust me, I speak from experience, get all this paperwork together while the person is still healthy. We had to scramble around last minute as my Mother-In-Law was on her deathbed, it was awful.
Post # 4
I have POA for my father, conditional on his disability or long term health problems. So it won’t kick in for a long time yet.
I’ve also been trying to get it for my mother… but it’s a lot harder when they resist…
Post # 5
I think being a POA varies state to state. I haven’t been made a POA but I have prepared a few of them at the law firm I work at.
A financial power of attorney, at least in my state, allows someone that you pay your bills and act on your behalf regarding real estate, etc., if you are unable to do so.
A medical power of attorney, again in my state, allows someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do so. I had to have a colonscopy done a few years ago and I made my SO my medical power of attorney, just in case something would have happened because of how I react to being put under.
If you have questions, contact a lawyer. They will be able to explain exactly how things work in your state.
Post # 6
@X0JLYNN03: Meh, I can’t really say Father-In-Law is healthy. He has cancer and we thought he was done going to the hospital but I guess he’s in remission? TBH the doctors sound like they have no idea if he is getting better or worse.
For some reason H said that he went to the bank and they told him that he would have to give his bank account info along with birth certificate and other identification…I will double check with him later, maybe he misunderstood. Do you think it’s really important to get a lawyer just for legal counsel in this situation? My aunt suggested it but I really don’t know.
@arsing89: Thanks for making the distinction. I think they’re trying to make H financial POA, I’m unsure about the medical part. I did hear that Father-In-Law left it up to his friend and her husband to pull the plug on him if need be and the whole family is so confused over that decision…I don’t get it, can you even legally let your friend decide to pull a plug on you? Say H is also made medical POA, would this extend to mental health stuff? I’m just wondering if there’s a way we can get Father-In-Law to move closer to us if he survives this. One one hand it feels wrong to let him stay where he is, as he has no family in that state at all, just a lot of scamming friends that he’s paid bills for and allows to stay at his place for indefinite amounts of time. But I don’t know how bad of a condition he is now so who knows if we could even fly him over anymore.
Post # 7
@tmsing: We didn’t get a lawyer, but we didn’t have time. She signed the paperwork then went into a coma the next day & never woke up. As far as just getting POA paperwork, you can do it online – it’s not free, but I’m sure it’s cheaper than an attorney! When my husband brought the POA paperwork to the bank that’s all he needed to get on her account. They needed his general info to be on the account, but they never asked for his bank account info or anything like that.
It’s a tough subject to bring up, because you’re basically planning for the person’s death or to become too sick to take care of stuff on their own. But it’s so important to have this stuff in order before that person is no longer able to. My parents are healthy & doing well but I’m encouraging to have them make me POA, it was (and still is) a nightmare trying to do stuff with his mom’s accounts, bills & house because he wasn’t the POA/executor.
Post # 8
@tmsing: My personal opinon is you don’t need a lawyer just to get the POA paperwork. You just fill it out, print it out, sign it & have it notarized, it’s simple.
Post # 9
@tmsing: I’m not 100% sure how things work on the mental side.
ETA: No, your friends cannot just legally say when to pull the plug, unless they are POA or they have some other legal document that gives them that power.