After mom or dad moves in with you, you have to consider many things. One thing I talk a lot about (okay, maybe I even harp on it) is making sure that you have a power of attorney for finances and another one for medical care.
Let’s be honest about this first, you will have to assess your mom’s ability to even sign these documents. If mom has moved in with you and is capable of handling her own affairs, please run to your lawyer’s office to get these documents completed. Do not stop along the way for a nail appointment, take a vacation, or go to choir practice. I’m not being snide here. I often get phone calls asking for the first available appointment and when dates and times are offered, none of them are good enough because there’s that nail appointment or a soccer game that conflicts. That’s not a joke; those are real excuses, and this is no joking matter.
If your parent is mentally capable of executing these documents get them done as soon as humanly possible. I receive heartbreaking calls from family members on a regular basis when mom or dad had strokes or the dementia has gotten really bad and the parent is not able to complete the documents. This is not the time to wait or think about it. Just do it and do it quickly.
Also, I would caution you not to use this time to play out sibling rivalries and wrest the power from your sister or brother by bringing Mom to a lawyer to change her perfectly good documents that name your sibling instead of you. You are asking for a lawsuit and possibly a restraining order.
I would also caution about using a lawyer and not attempting to do it yourself. I know. I know. This sounds like the lawyer just attempting to get money from you. Granted online companies are competitors but I have to tell you straight — I have seen some really horrible online documents. More than that, I have seen non-lawyers who did their own documents using online forms that really don’t understand what they are doing and botch the document so badly that it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. This is one time that you can’t afford to find out that the document you raced to get Mom to sign isn’t going to do the job. Mom being this ill is already a strain on you and your family, don’t make it a total disaster.
My next blog post will be an excerpt from my textbook about doing documents on your own or through an online company.