Is a will necessary if one is appointed as power of attorney?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 17, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mom appointed me as her poa. If she were to go to long term nursing care, does she need a will. All she has is the little bit of furniture and her clothes. Her income will be distributed to Medicaid upon acceptance.

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Expert Answers

You ask if a will (for your mother) is necessary if you hold a POA for her. As an attorney, I should answer that one should always have a will. And I believe this is right, over 99% of the time. But with your mother, her having a will does not seem absolutely essential. You state that all she has is a little bit of furniture and her clothes. She could give away the furniture, assuming she won't need it in a long-term nursing facility. And it's unlikely that anyone wold object to you obtaining her clothes after her death.

On the other hand, a will is an easy document to prepare. There are a number of inexpensive resources on the internet and in books that would enable you to prepare a simple will for your mother. So I suggest that you prepare one for her and have her execute it, which simply means that she sign and date it and have it witnessed by two witnesses. There can be no downside to doing this.