Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Business of Death

It’s been a busy week. My hubby and I went over to Mom’s and had a marathon three days of attorney, banking, insurance, and medical appointments. It’s amazing when I go over there. I seem to forget life here. I even forgot to call home for messages. But we sure got a lot done. We met with the attorney and found out what we needed to do. Mom had saved all of the forms that came in—insurance, pension, IRA, change of beneficiary forms, etc.-- and we were able to deal with all of them. And then we met with her doctor. He’s finally taking some of her complaints seriously, so now I need to schedule a week over there for some tests.

One thing I learned is that there is almost nothing I can do without being at Mom’s. Every call required her to get on the phone and give permission for them to talk to me. Since she doesn’t hear well, it was almost a comedy of errors, them trying to talk to her, her not being able to understand, and my telling her the answer to give them in order for them to talk to me! We got it all done, but it was a nuisance and there’s nothing I can do without her being right there with me.

One advisor recommended that she put me on as co-owner of her trust so I would have equal ability to make decisions. So, tomorrow I need to call the attorney again and see what he thinks and what that really means. I’m learning so much! And nothing I really wanted to know…

Labels: , ,

4 comment(s):

[Blogger is acting up. I can't tell if this already posted.]

The most important piece of paper we got was the financial power of attorney which let my sister and I take care of all the financial stuff, but does not say that mom also take care of things. Each state may vary. One of mom's greatest changes is that she has no interest in this any more, but before she even did her own taxes.

We learned about this paper from a hospital social worker who said "this is not part of my job description, but I believe it is very important." The day we got it signed, a different social worker was there. She had never done that paper before.

We haven't dealt with the phone situation you mention because we either go in person with that paper or we call and they say, "send a copy." Then that paper is on file, so in the future, we don't have any hassle.

My friend was in the position you are in with her dad. It was nuts because she would have to have her father say, "yes, let daughter deal with this" but that could have been anybody's voice. Using the paper seems much better.

My social worker friend said that when a person has no family, he often has to talk banks into letting him have information. Good for him and his client, bad for following rules.

Best wishes to you. Try to get that power of attorney signed if that works in your state.

By Blogger P.S. an after-thought, at 5:40 AM  

Oh, I just love the "Mom, just say yes I can speak for you" act. One crazy toy for this is her newly installed Medical Alert System which doubles as a speaker phone and makes us both sound 100 years old and crazy besides.

Practically, Mom has a durable power of attorney but that's for when she's certifiably out of it, and not just hugely bewildered and disinterested. A signed letter to the bank and HMO simply spelling out what I can do, and including my phone and DOB for ID, has worked well. Also handling everything possible online as Mom takes care of a bunch.

Good luck and best wishes. It's wearing, but what can you do?

By Blogger Antonia, at 7:48 AM  

Thanks for those ideas, ladies. I'm going to check into both of them. Yes, it seems a little crazy the hoops we all have to jump through, and my mom (like yours Antonia) just considers it a huge nuisance. I thought we had the Power of Attorney we needed, but in looking at it, it really does require her to be incompetent. So, tomorrow I get to call the attorney again...

By Blogger Pat, at 6:02 PM  

I made a mistake in my comment. The financial power of attorney we have does NOT take away my mom's right to take care of her financial business. But she has no interest, so it is extra good that we have that paper. This is in Wisconsin.

Medical power of attorney is a different type of paper. I think that has to do with being incompetant to make medical decisions.

By Blogger P.S. an after-thought, at 6:14 PM  

Post a comment

<< Home