How can I legally handle my mothers affairs in estate planning? 7 Answers as of July 22, 2011

I am primary caregiver for widowed 81 yr old mother. She is unable to handle her affairs. She needs total care, with many medical conditions. She is unable to sign, so I will have to get a written letter from Dr. stating this. Can this form be created online and notarized with all the correct credentials? She has dementia and lives with me (daughter). I've been advised that I need Durable Power of Attorney to handle her finances. I have been given authority from my siblings. I've had that responsibility for 13 years.

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James McElroy LLC
James McElroy LLC | James McElroy
If your mother has lucid intervals ,she can sign if witnesses are present.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 7/22/2011
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
It appears that you will be unable to get a power of attorney as your mother is already incompetent to execute the document. You can petition the probate court for a conservatorship which would allow you to accomplish your goals. You should speak to the probate court in your area or enlist the aid of an experienced probate attorney.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 7/22/2011
Raxter Law
Raxter Law | Jeremiah Raxter
Your siblings can not give you that authority. From the facts it appears that you will have to seek to be a conservator. Good luck, and I wish you the best.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/22/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
You will need to establish a guardianship is she is not competent
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/22/2011
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
If your mother is unable to legally comprehend what she is signing, then you are too late to obtain a durable power of attorney. Your only choice will be to file for guardianship and have her declared incapacitated and be appointed as her guardian. If she is able to legally comprehend what she is signing and can sign, then I strongly advise you to seek the help of an elder law attorney. Forms off the internet can be dangerous and, in Florida, the Durable Power of Attorney statute has significant changes which take effect 10/1/2011. If you fill out the wrong "form", you may end up needing a guardianship anyhow.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    Since she has dementia, she CANNOT do a power of attorney. Had she seen a lawyer when she was young, she would have made one when she was healthy. She cannot do it now. You can petition a court to become her guardian. There are many pros and cons to this, so meet with a lawyer before you decide if you want to undertake this.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/22/2011
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