My husband was diagnosed August 2015 and I am currently paying all the bills and taking care of everything. He is in total denial that he has Alzheimer. But I was wondering when I would need the power of attorney activated for financial or health? I have the power of attorney for health and financial but I have been told that it needs to be activated by a notary. I live in Canada. Any feed back would be appreciated.
We had all the POA documents done soon after his diagnosis in 2009. Now I usually sign for medical things and we have removed his name from almost all financial issues. He did have to sign when I had our home refinanced because Texas is a community property state. Sometimes I have him make his scribble of a signature and other times I just sign. No one ever questions me but I do carry the documents in the car.
The first and best legal advice we were given was to have him taken off of all my documents Immediately. He cannot be your decision maker and he should not be inheriting your part of the estate. This is where a trust is important and someone other than your spouse should be the trustee.
I agree, @A myALZteam Member, about putting the car in your name - put everything in your name you can. About the only thing you cannot put in your name is his/her IRA's. Also, review the beneficiaries on all of your insurance policies and any pensions; it should be someone other than your spouse/loved one with dementia. Get yourself approved to complete transactions and make inquiries on all financial accounts, medical supports (including doctors, pharmacies, therapists, etc.), and other legal documents. (You will be surprised how many of these you have and it is a challenge to keep track of getting them all done.) Your spouse or other loved one's competence can be challenged at even early stages so it is easiest to do these things early. I agree with @A myALZteam Member that an elder law attorney is worth the cost. I've even made sure our daughter has met the attorney so that she is more comfortable if she needs to reach out to her directly for help. Has anyone noticed that, in addition to the direct care we provide, this caregiving is a lot of work!
My husband was diagnosed in 2012. We hired an elder lawyer immediately also, while he was still able to reason. With the lawyer doing all of the talking, I was able to make the decision with him instead of for him. He doesn't remember all of the ins & outs of what the lawyer said, but he does remember that it was his decision for me to be the POA & Rep. Payee. An Elder lawyer is a lawyer who is also versed in elderly issues & can help with decisions the caregiver may have to make such as long term care etc, state regs. & rules & was also able to explain them with our particular situation in mind. We thought it was a good investment for us. We also updated our wills at the same time.
You could speed the process if you do it privately. A friend of mine started the process privately in January. The cost so far is about $1000.
I know this response may be a bit late, but I am just learning in this area also. I would highly recommend you see if there is an elder care attorney in your area. They are more aware of these issues and other areas that concern those diagnosed and their family members/caregivers. Good luck!