Just looking ahead... Mom will probably go on PACE in a few years, but I'm unsure if she'll be allowed or able to sign anything at that point. I am POA (and joint on her checking account) but we haven't messed with getting the bank to accept her self-completed POA doc because they likely will want their own doc completed and her bank is 12-hours away by car (she lives with us but still uses her old bank from where she used to live).

I'm just hoping that the actual process of getting her signed up for PACE (and Miller Trust) will be able to be accomplished easily (I am sure we'll also need an attorney), without us figuring out how to get the bank to accept my POA. Is joint on the checking account, a POA that does exist, plus going to see an attorney going to accomplish all of this when the time comes? I haven't been able to learn much about how the actual sign-up happens. Who signs? What is signed? Anything specific to Colorado would be helpful. Thanks!!

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I live in Colorado; my mom passed away in 2018 from alz complications and now taking care of my dad's affairs in NM. From looking at the website for PACE in colorado, it depends on her zip code/county on who to call. This program does have direct phone numbers The webpage I'm looking at is the Programs of all-inclusive care for the Elderly and you scroll down to the bottom to pick her county and zip code for the correct/direct phone number. I hope this helps and please feel free to message me privately if there is anything specific to the Denver area you would like to discuss.
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Reply to gemswinner12

The sooner you see an Elder Care Attorney the better.
It is so much easier (and even with a lawyer) less expensive to do things the right way from the start rather than trying to play catch up.
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Reply to Grandma1954

momdaughter82: Retain an elder law attorney.
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Reply to Llamalover47

Self completed POAs are not often accepted by ANYONE, and especially are not accepted by banks.
As to these forms, I believe you will have better luck signing as POA and submitting your POA papers in the case of governmental assistance, but uncertain.

If your Mom is still able to do a POA PLEASE get to an attorney to get a "real" one done, because you are going to have problems with the ones you pull off the computer. Few entities accept their legitimacy, and once families find this out it is too late. So let this serve as warning to others.

You need to learn all you can. You are correct that you need an attorney for your questions, options and paperwork. Please do asap so mom will be competent to sign things.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
Geaton777 Jun 1, 2024
This hasn't been true for my MIL's PoA, which was downloaded from the website and finalized without an in-person attorney visit (Legalzoom provides access to lawyers who practice in your home state). We've had no problem dealing with her bank, her doctors, the SSA, or her LTC facility.
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I am from NJ and I applied for Medicaid for her. As her immediate POA I signed everything because she had Dementia. She was not even present. I even placed her on my signature as her POA. I never had problems with her bank. They had a copy of her POA on file. I am from a small town and had accounts of my own at the bank. So maybe thats why I had no problem. POA was written by a local lawyer.

To set up a Miller Acct you will need an Elder Lawyer versed in Medicaid. The trust falls under Medicaid criteria. And reverts to Medicaid upon death.
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Reply to JoAnn29

I live in MN and when I applied for Medicaid on behalf of my MIL, she didn't need to sign the app and the app didn't require the applicant to be PoA, only a "personal representative". Nursing home admins regularly filel for Medicaid for people, but it can differ by state. The app itself (in MN) is not rocket science, but a Miller Trust is not something I'm experienced with. You can find the Medicaid app online at her home county's social services website.

We used an elder law attorney to create our own trust, and trusts can be complicated so def use a lawyer or estate planner for that. You can also consult with a Medicaid Planner for CO to get insights.
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Reply to Geaton777
momdaughter82 Jun 1, 2024
I hope applying for Medicaid is as straightforward in CO as it was for you in MN! I wish the Memory Care facility we're planning on using would file for us (I'm not sure if any of them do in this state or not), but it sounds like they don't ever do that. Thanks!
Don’t wait to see the certified elder attorney or to get the POA as it needs to be. There is no advantage to wait and much can be lost. There is no control on “when the time comes”. When the time comes can so easily morph into too late. Your mom is not likely to get better and there is a period of time when she can sign even though she has been diagnosed that can slip away.
I am not knowledgeable about the PACE program but do look for posts from Igloo here on this forum. You can do a search using Igloo PACE and her posts will come up and may be helpful for you.
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Reply to 97yroldmom
momdaughter82 Jun 1, 2024
Thank you. By "when the time comes," I mean when she's financially ready (she's already medically ready) to apply to Medicaid / PACE. The POA has been accepted by several entities already (including her supplemental insurance / short term care policy...same company), so I don't think there's anything "wrong" with it. It's a legal, notarized / witnessed document. But I know that, often, banks want their own POA which has been signed within the last six months. We can't easily make that happen right now (with the in-person bank branch being 12 hours away).
I live in Colorado and my mom had dementia for 6 years before she passed in 2022 at 95. She lived in Memory Care Assisted Living and I was her POA for financial and medical. I had my name on her bank accounts, so I was able to sign checks w/o her signature, order phone service, etc. The one thing I couldn't do was call Medicare or Social Security on her behalf. They don't want to hear about dementia or POA or incompetence, etc. So I'd have to put mom on the phone for a moment to give her verbal okay to speak to me 🙄. Everything else I was able to sign my name as POA for her. At her Memory Care ALF, I made decisions for her, and there were no problems.

I was going to apply for Medicaid for mom because her funds were running out, but she passed away right before that became necessary. I had the application printed out and the name of a person to help me fill it out and then follow the process of it being accepted or rejected, etc. I think she charged $1400. I believe I was able to sign for mom as her POA, but if not, I'd have had her scratch out her signature which WAS required a few times.

I sat down with a Certified Elder Care attorney in Denver for a free consult several years beforehand and it was priceless. He had a ton of useful information for me, including how to apply for and get VA Aid and Attendance benefits for both mom and dad since dad was a WWII veteran. Mom continued getting survivor benefits after dad died.

Wishing you the best of luck with all of this.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lealonnie1
momdaughter82 Jun 1, 2024
Thank you, that was all VERY helpful! It's so strange how, in certain situations, it sounds like a person with diagnosed dementia no longer is competent to sign things (or the POA may not be good enough to implement, etc.)...but then when it comes to other things, a scratched name is sufficient! It sounds like it'll work out. And I definitely will see an elder care attorney when the time to apply approaches.
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