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How to invoke poa when parent with cognitive decline is in denial?

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How to invoke poa when parent with cognitive decline is in denial?

I am my parents' financial and medical poa.  My father passed away last week.  My sister has lived with them for the last 10 years.  My mother has significant cognitive decline that has been progressive over the last 6 years or so.  She refuses to admit there's an issue and therefore will not seek out medical testing, diagnosis or care.  

How do I invoke said poa?  She requires more and more care from my sister and me. Do I have to wait for some catastrophic event?  I feel that I'm close to that.  

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If you have not done so already, you must apply to Social Security to become the Representative Payee to manager beneficiary income.  You cannot do that simply as a POA, guardian, or conservator.

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@SusanB679898 wrote:

I am my parents' financial and medical poa.  My father passed away last week.  My sister has lived with them for the last 10 years.  My mother has significant cognitive decline that has been progressive over the last 6 years or so.  She refuses to admit there's an issue and therefore will not seek out medical testing, diagnosis or care.  

How do I invoke said poa?  She requires more and more care from my sister and me. Do I have to wait for some catastrophic event?  I feel that I'm close to that.  


If she doesn't agree and you think it is necessary,the easiest way to (forcibly) invoke both the financial and healthcare POA is to have her doctor back you up because the doc would be the one to make a call on her cognitive abilities.  Otherwise, you may have to go the court route - meaning guardianship.

 

Speaking about the healthcare POA - understand that this is a job where you should know her wishes and perform your duties as you think she would have done them herself, in her best interest.

The financial POA is just a duty where you act on her behalf in financial matters that have to be handled.  

 

You can also get prepared - any financial institution needs to know about your POA - accounts should be set up accordingly - i.e. her name, your name POA.  Many banks have their own forms that need to be completed - always easier if you have had some relation with them with her there.

 

You will also need to become her Representative Payee (RP) under Social Security if she is getting a SS benefit or even Supplemental Security Income.  If she is to get Survivors SS benefits, you will need to get that all squared away too - that might be a good time to do the (RP) status too. 

 

For Medicare you will need to become her authorized representative - a person they can talk to about her benefits or for you to make choices about her benefits - like choosing the best plan for her if the need arises.   

AARP.org 08/24/2022 - How do I give someone permission to talk to Medicare on my behalf?

 

Depending on the situation and her understanding and compliance, if might be that you could kind of ease into it - but get prepared and then if the need arises you are ready.  There really isn't an easy way - but you are better off if you know her wishes and business as well as your own and have the legal documents to back you up and her medical team knows you.

 

Hopefully you and your sister are on the same page here.

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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