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Update: so the SNF wants myself or my Cousin to sign paperwork to have her transferred and admitted to the SNF. Neither one of us have POA and at this point do not think we would could even get it. We want to help in any way we can but at the same time do not want to be stuck with any of her bills. My cousin has a call into an attorney but not sure when she will get back to us. Thanks

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We literally had a rehab try to force us to sign (Dh and Sil had joint POA) when FIL went to rehab the last time. I made a total nuisance of myself because they kept pushing for it and I said absolutely not because he was competent to sign his own paperwork and neither of them was signing anything whatsoever. They kept pushing saying it was just a "placeholder " I said well if you just need a placeholder then you can place his name there because no one but him is signing that paperwork. I still don't know why they were so pushy about it except that he was in the bathroom and had been for sometime and they were antsy to get the paperwork done because it was late on a Friday afternoon.
The point being, if your loved one is competent, there is no reason anyone but them should have to sign the paperwork, POA or not unless they are incapacitated, and UTI I don't think counts. And if you don't have POA I don't think you can legally sign anything anyway.
BUT under no circumstances sign anything accepting responsibility to pay for anything yourself.
This particular place, even though they didn't get my husband's signature on anything, did get his contact information....and had the literal nerve to send us a freaking bill for services...
You can bet that I blew up the billing department when that one arrived...they fixed it fast LOL.
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reallyfedup Apr 24, 2022
Depending on your state, a close family member can serve as a proxy decision maker if the patient is incapacitated and there is no DPOA. A POA or proxy is not liable for the patient's bills unless they co-signed or guaranteed they would pay. As a matter of fact, the person drawing up the POA, the principal, can grant almost any powers he wants and can set it up so that the agent can act for him without consultation. But most principles, like your FIL, probably want to act on their own if they can. As for the bill, make a complaint to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, CMS, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services. Get ahold or the Department of Fraud and Abuse. If they're like they used to be, they will bring a world of hurt. Also check with your state's human services.
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You aren't allowed to sign for a competent person. Only, if you are the appointed guardian of an incompetent person.
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venting Apr 11, 2022
Hi! OP doesn't have POA. But as a general comment to what you say, TChamp, just to correct it: some POA documents are effective immediately (irrespective of whether the person is competent/incompetent). In that case, the POA - can - sign for a competent person to go to a SNF. But, the competent person can also sign themself out of the SNF.
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Her UTI will clear up. She can sign the papers then.
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Even an X can be a legal signature for someone who has visual or physical deficits that make signing difficult. If she is cognitively unable to sign (either temporarily or permanently) the NH could have a hard time enforcing any contract she signs, but if they accept her mark that is their problem, not yours.
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If you have no POA, you have no authority to sign on her behalf.

You don't want to sign yourselves as "responsible party" because that makes you liable for the bills.

So, the choice is she signs (we put NH paperwork in front of mom post stroke; I doubt she knew what she was signing)--POA brother was not there at the time-- or the paperwork goes unsigned.

Hope the lawyer has good advice.
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We did the first time MIL went into AL. When that didn’t work out and she went back home, the next and final move we had POA so signed on her behalf.
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Aunt should sign her own paperwork.
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Maine127 Apr 11, 2022
Even if she is not coherent and really knows who no one is ? I am curious how that works since with the UTI she is totally out of it
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Do Not Sign anything that says you will guarantee payment. It definitely would be best to have the attorney go over the admission paperwork and advise, but if that can't be done make sure you don't sign your name next to any line that states you will be financially responsible. Be careful when you read, and if any line seems confusing, make sure you get clarification.
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poodledoodle Apr 11, 2022
Good advice!
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