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Old 12-17-2014, 03:53 PM   #21
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.....snip..

My sister and I are both added on his bank account as Transfer On Death. I'm the executor of the will and this designation keeps the bank account out of probate. When he dies, I assume I can just pay for expenses and then split the remainder with my sister, but I think I better check with a lawyer before doing anything besides paying for final expenses.
...snip...
Just addressing the TOD comment. When a death certificate is passed on to the bank the funds in the accounts with the TOD will be distributed per the TOD. You and DS might want to discuss how you want to handle that.

Luckily with DF, we were advised to withhold some money in his bank account(covered by will in his specific case) as his investments were covered by TOD. Given he lived in PA. there is a 4% state inheritance tax, those monies were used to pay the state tax for the privilege of residing in that state while dying.

We also wanted his final costs paid for in advance so that was done.

You said the correct thing, seek a competent attorney's advice. We had issues with the accounts the TOD money was sent too, I believe an estate attorney would have handeled the situation differently, saving the family lots of bs.


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Old 12-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #22
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Yes, I have POA and also Health powers. I'm very close to having to start using them.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:04 PM   #23
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I'm a bit surprised by how simple and effortless this all seems. My personal experience is that almost no one accepts a generic POA and I have been forced to fill out each institution's POA instead. In the few cases where the generic POA was accepted, the institution required in addition an affidavit from the maker of the POA swearing that the POA and the attorney-in-fact were valid (the affidavit was of course the bank's form). If the maker of the POA were incompetent, then the POA would be useless.

Has anyone actually tried to use a generic POA and encountered no problems?
In principle , it's supposed to work but.................
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:08 PM   #24
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Hell would freeze over (probably twice) before my dad (who is in his early 90's) would give anyone POA over any of his business. OTOH, my mom would beg me to take her POA if she should survive longer than my Dad. My wife has already given me her POA so she doesn't have to deal with such things. (need to be careful with that one, in case I go first)
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:10 PM   #25
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We had to have POA for my parents after my mom got Alzheimer's and my dad got to the point that he was feeling too ill to keep up with paying bills. Plus at that point, they were running out of money and we children had to contribute towards expenses and sell some of their antiques for them to stay in their home with a caregiver. I'm happy we could help take that worry from them, but it worried us (the children) plenty!
Did your mother have Alzheimers already when you got POA? I was under the impression that POA had to be given BEFORE issues of mental capacity were in play.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:13 PM   #26
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I'm a bit surprised by how simple and effortless this all seems. My personal experience is that almost no one accepts a generic POA and I have been forced to fill out each institution's POA instead.
Perhaps it depends on customs in a given area? DW had no difficulty at all in administering finances for her father. Understand though that she was dealing with a small town bank and everyone had known all of the parties involved for the last 20+ years or so.

The bank manager was cast straight out of George Bailey's character in It's a Wonderful Life so it could hardly have been made easier for her.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:21 PM   #27
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I'm a bit surprised by how simple and effortless this all seems.
./.
Has anyone actually tried to use a generic POA and encountered no problems?
In principle , it's supposed to work but.................
Our POA was prepared by an attorney, together with the trust and will, but we've had no issue at all with banks or other financial institutions (although I expected some based on comments here).

I haven't yet had to deal with Comcast or Verizon, and I do expect issues from them, but that is in their DNA.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:33 PM   #28
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Yes, but I am also a joint owner on my Mom's bank accounts. Since I retired I have become more involved and am transitioning to setting up a lot of her bills as auto-pays.
Several years before my Dad passed away, he and my Mom had their Will, POA, POA for medical, and other estate papers, drawn up by their attorney. Then after my Dad passed away, my Mom had her attorney make the necessary changes to the existing estate paperwork back in about 2001. She and I talked to her attorney last year about a some possible issues and concerns that could arise after her demise, involving one of my siblings.

So after discussing things with her attorney, Mom had him draw up new POA, POA for medical, a Revocable Living Trust (she's the trustee and I'm the successor trustee), and a pour over Will (with me named as the executor). All of her financial and investment accounts already had designated beneficiaries. And, in keeping with my Dad's wishes, she made me joint-owner on her bank accounts and CDs after he passed away, so I can take care of all of the banking and financial matters for her.

If I precede my Mom in death, or am otherwise incapable of fulfilling my role of executor or successor trustee, then my two siblings are named as secondary joint-executors of her will, and as secondary joint-successor trustees of her RLT. They both live nearly 1,000 miles away, have never really shown much interest in my folks financial or health matters, and have chosen not to really stay much in touch with Mom. They usually each call her a couple times a year.

Although she has always kept her finances pretty well organized, I've assisted her to get everything completely squared away financially, and have all of the recurring bills set up on auto-pay. Her current supplemental health insurance, through my Dad's former employer, is being terminated by the company at the end of this year, so I assisted her in getting signed up for new medigap and prescription drug plans. We set up auto-pay for her medigap premiums, and I will get the drug plan set up that way too.

With everything organized and pretty much on auto-pilot, she is much more at ease, and has a lot less to worry and stress over. Her biggest concerns now are what we're going to have for breakfast and dinner tomorrow.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:49 PM   #29
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I forgot to mention that DH and I need to get our Will reviewed (written in the early 80's) and get POA and Health Directives set up....we aren't getting any younger 😜


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Old 12-18-2014, 12:08 AM   #30
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How much additional time for those that have POA for their parents do you spend on average managing the day to day expenses and finances?


Managing the bills, reading up on FIRE tips, articles, and taking care of my and DWs accounts, taxes, paying for college expenses for our boys....time consuming enough.


Hard to imagine how much more time it would take to manage expenses, taxes, accounts, medical affairs for my parents when the time comes.


Is there any time left for napping??
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:13 AM   #31
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How much additional time for those that have POA for their parents do you spend on average managing the day to day expenses and finances?


Managing the bills, reading up on FIRE tips, articles, and taking care of my and DWs accounts, taxes, paying for college expenses for our boys....time consuming enough.


Hard to imagine how much more time it would take to manage expenses, taxes, accounts, medical affairs for my parents when the time comes.


Is there any time left for napping??
The financial part was pretty easy for me once we hunted down where all the assets were. It took a little while to get everything consolidated at Vanguard and one bank account. Getting it all together was time consuming.

DW spent a lot of time with her parents on doctor visits and trying to help FIL function in the house. Once it became obvious he couldn't stay there she spent a considerable amount of time at the "facility."
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Old 12-18-2014, 05:46 AM   #32
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Had to do the same with my dad. Filed his POA at the county recorders office and got multiple certified copies. Very handy. The last year of dad's life I had no down time at all. Between DS and his high school activities, work, and always going over to be with dad, it was tough.

I never had trouble turning off cable and stuff either.

DH did our own wills and POAs too. We will update them as our DS matures, slowly brining him into the loop.


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Old 12-18-2014, 06:30 AM   #33
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My wife has POA for MIL. It hasn't been a problem, MIL is still healthy at 82 and has her finances very organized so DW just monitors the accounts for any unusual activities. The biggest pain we may have to deal with is MIL's house. MIL has set aside money for its maintenance for several years but with a "deadbeat" BIL also living their and other siblings of DW eager to get their hands on the money I'm anticipating quite the battle.

One of my sisters had POA for our mother when mom's health started to decline. The main time consuming activity was validating the hospital bills for several stays mom had before she died. Mom had simple assets and Sis is open about showing us information if we wanted to see.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:45 AM   #34
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I had a poa and become the trustee of my mom's living trust when she became incapacitated ... many years ago. I had no control before she was incapacitated.

I do think having some visibility of assets before that time can be good in some cases. However, the parents may not appreciate the monitoring and the children may overstep their bounds. Sometimes this can cause more problems. I think this is best done with both being comfortable with the arrangement. Sometimes that arrangement will never happen with some people. My mother would not allow it before it was really too late... so I just got to clean up the pieces.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:33 AM   #35
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How much additional time for those that have POA for their parents do you spend on average managing the day to day expenses and finances?"......Is there any time left for napping??
My Mom was always fairly well organized, and she always kept me up to date on what accounts she had and where they were at. So it was pretty simple to gather things together, set up auto-pay for her recurring bills, and keep track of everything. Now it's simply a matter of glancing over the monthly bills just to make sure they are correct, and paying the occasional bill that isn't a recurring one, such as for a plumbing repair or a medical bill deductible or co-pay. And a couple times a year, we take care of a CD or two that mature, which may add an additional 30 minutes of my time.

So as to how much additional time it takes me to attend to her affairs, I'd say maybe a half hour per month, if that.......and no nap interruption either!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:18 AM   #36
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I spent one evening a week with my Mom visiting and helping with whatever she needed. Usually a 2 hour visit.
I did spend considerable time right after she passed away going through her papers, records and computer to make sure I was on top of all her bills (most were on auto pay) and to notify SS, pension and others of her death. Spent a lot of time on hold and being transferred from one department to another. A lot of time spent the first two months. Now it's just an hour or so a week - I'm just clearing up some medical bills and disposing of the two remaining timeshares (she had five). I send my siblings a monthly update including a spreadsheet of assets and expenses incurred. I'll be glad to have this wrapped up sometime next year and having one less thing to worry about.


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Old 12-18-2014, 06:43 PM   #37
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My wife has in place (and has used) durable POAs for both of her parents. We have not been hassled or questioned by anybody, except that when she used it for sale of real estate the title company required a letter from a Dr. indicating that, in his opinion, both of her parents were competent to make decisions and understood what they were doing at the time the POAs were executed. Both of my wife's parents have been incapacitated with dementia (Alzheimers in one case, another form in other case) and without the POAs we would have to go through a guardianship court process which would have cost money. If you wait until a parent shows signs of mental issues, you might not subsequently be able to get a Dr. to opine that he/she was competent when the POA was executed - I would strongly suggest doing this early - and you can set it up to not be immediately effective but to "spring" into effectiveness when 2 Drs. give letters indicating their opinion that parent no longer competent to manage affairs.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:03 PM   #38
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Power of Attorney is important.
Executor for estate often more difficult, with a potential for creating family difficulties. From a personal experience, designating a lawyer may not be a good alternative to a trusted family member. Accepting the responsibility is a daunting experience. When making our own wills, this was the part that we spent the most time in deciding, and that was only after a long discussion with our choice.
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Old 12-18-2014, 07:19 PM   #39
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Did your mother have Alzheimers already when you got POA? I was under the impression that POA had to be given BEFORE issues of mental capacity were in play.

I believe they had it set up in connection with their estate planning, if the need should rise, and eventually it did. My brother is an attorney and he was the one involved in setting it up. I was more involved after the fact, paying bills, keeping track of when the funds were running low.


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Old 12-18-2014, 07:24 PM   #40
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How much additional time for those that have POA for their parents do you spend on average managing the day to day expenses and finances?


Managing the bills, reading up on FIRE tips, articles, and taking care of my and DWs accounts, taxes, paying for college expenses for our boys....time consuming enough.


Hard to imagine how much more time it would take to manage expenses, taxes, accounts, medical affairs for my parents when the time comes.


Is there any time left for napping??
My husband, because of the fact that MIL fought guardianship, had to go to great lengths to find out about her finances because she did not want to share the information. To make matters more challenging, we live in a different state. He got permission from the court to forward all her mail. This allowed him to determine who her service providers were. He then went through the process of setting up online auto bill-payments. He did not change any of her investments (which are mostly CDs except her TSP). So no reading up on retirement strategies. He maintained the same health insurance plan for her... Basically he made as few changes as he could.

Now that everything is set up for autopay - he spends about 15 minutes a month reconciling things to make sure all the bills were paid. Another 30 minutes once a quarter to update his siblings on her finances. And once a year he files a comprehensive report with the court that issued guardianship - that takes about an hour to compile (but is based on the monthly reconcilings - so is easy to do.)

I do the taxes for her. That takes about 1 hour. It's very straightforward since she just has interest, RMDs, SS, and a pension.

The first year, when DH was figuring out the accounts, and getting the guardianship status recognized, and setting up autopayments - it was a few hours a month - and a lot of postage. Keep in mind - his mom was obstructing his efforts. It would have been less time that first year if he hadn't had to play detective to figure out who her trash provider was, who her cable operator was, etc...
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