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URL:  https://boards.fool.com/-sigh-i39ve-had-power-of-attorney-for-my-dad-34763290.aspx

Subject:  Re: Time for a rant Date:  2/25/2021  6:28 PM
Author:  YewGuise Number:  132099 of 132664

* sigh *

I've had Power of Attorney for my dad for many years. I visited him every week, first at his house, then in assisted living, until last year when we switched to zoom.

I helped with finances. Started by writing his checks, which he'd then sign; over time that segued to my just paying most things online. Got a call blocker with whitelist for his phone when he started giving his credit card info out to strangers. Took his outgoing mail "to mail" for him, and siphoned off and shredded the nonsense he was signing up for, which he then didn't remember anyway. Fired his unreliable landscaper and hired someone else to mow the lawn. Clearly, he was slipping cognitively in a lot of ways. But at our weekly lunches, he still put the check on his credit card and correctly calculated the 20% tip and the total.

Thing is, PoA let me do a lot for him, but it didn't enable me to stop him from doing whatever he wanted, which he did unilaterally. I showed up at his house once to find contractors installing a retractable awning over his deck. Surprise! He directed me to pay them, said it'd be $1k. They said, "$3k," he said OK. I have no idea what the going rate is for work like that, but 4 figures sure is a lot less than the 6 figures your client is out. And, Dad did spend many hours after that enjoying the good weather on the deck, with the awning keeping the sun off him, so it was a useful improvement.

If your client has adult children, I'd suggest you get her permission to have a chat with them. Even if the contractor wasn't taking advantage, it's good for family to be in the loop.
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