A. There are 3 common issues you will likely discover, we will discuss them one by one and offer suggestions for you to follow.
Par A - Obtain Legacy Authority to Handle Their Finances
3 papers are typically needed:
Durable Power of Attorney (POA)
This is the most important document you will need in order to become your loved one's financial caregiver. It will declare you as the person's "agent" and provide the legal authority for you to sign tax returns, write checks, sell assets, etc.
It might cost $150-$250 to have an attorney draft a POA, this will be money well spent as you could ask the attorney to draft specific specific, such as if your loved one wants to transfer assets to a spouse and/or children while he is alive, you may need a gifting provision which is not included in a standard POA.
If multiple siblings are serving as agents, consider writing POA to specify that each of you can act independently. Also, keep in mind that rules goer POAs vary from state to state.
Help your loved one create a will if he doesn't have one or update an existing one. If you help with a will, be careful that you don't open yourself up to accusations that illness or frailty made the incapacitated person susceptible to your "under influence" in shaping the will in your favor.
This will make you the person to make health care decisions for the loved one. To do so, you will need to set up a separate health care POA with your loved one's attorney and a living will, which directs doctors about end-of-life medical care.
In next blogpost, we will discuss Part B of comments and solutions related taking over a loved one's finances.