Which POA form would be best?

5 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
B & s caring for dad asked...

My father lives in Indiana he's in a heath care living place . He had several strokes he can't write his name but still somewhat alert . I have a brother that is making sure he's ok but what we are asking is what form of POA would we need so he can manage to pay his bills & his living conditions ?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The type of document you may need is called a durable power of attorney for property and finances. Note, though, that it is your father who must consent to and finalize the document. If he is unable to sign, another person may do so on his behalf, but he must have the mental capacity to understand the document and what it means.

If your father has this capacity, you should be able to get help locating the proper local document through the facility's ombudsman; contact information for that person should be posted at the facility.

If your father's strokes have left him without the mental capacity required to complete a power of attorney, then your brother may need to proceed with a more complicated matter"”securing an adult guardianship or conservatorship"”so that he can step in and manage your father's property and finances. You should be able to find more information about this procedure through the local probate or superior court.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

Our parents had a POA written up just a few years ago...see if your Dad had one done previously. My Mom was listed first, but we took her to an attorney and she waived her rights as a POA, because she said she didn't want to handle things anymore. Then my sister was next, so she signed off too, to allow me to be able to do it, since it seemed like I was the only one who would at this time. I've been working on getting access to information for 3 months now, and am still not done!

Doody answered...

I think it should have been mentioned in the answer... that guardianship and Conservatorship are very expensive... on an ongoing basis, since all financial matters are checked periodically by the courts, involving charges each time. Maybe you could find out and state here what the approximate outlay could be in some states...??

A fellow caregiver answered...

If your father can understand, do your own POA for him, and have it notarized, if he understands, a notary can witness he agrees....or take him to an attorney who can ask him if he agrees and wants your brother as his POA to take care of things....may also want to put if your brother is "unwilling" or "unable" to do it, put your name down too. Some states, (like in NC) you have to have your POA papers registered at the court house. Check with your state about that.

Matti answered...

Expensive is right. My husband was advised to get guardianship of his brother in order to evict a freeloader from his house after the brother broke his hip and was unable to return to his home or able to make his own decisions. We found out that in our county in Ohio we had to have a bond of at least $250,000 which would cost a minimum of $10,000 per year, all coming out of the brother's funds. In addition, there is a responsibility to report periodically to the court in minute detail how all funds were spent. Since my husband already had POA we decided to take our chances and evict the freeloader based on the POA alone. It's a work in progress. The guy is out of the house, but his stuff is still there. We're still, after 2 months, trying to get just the POA accepted by all his business contacts. I hate to think how much more onerous the responsibility would be with the guardianship.