Written permission needed for help

mariendJune 28, 2005

To all of you that are caretakers, you need to make sure that you have on file with social security and all insurance companies, and medical offices a signed authoriztion from the parent authorizing them to release information to the caretaker. Both Social Security and most insurances have that form. You need to get these signed while the parent is alert to what they are signing. Also make sure that you are on the bank account, as a joint signer, not as trust. Keep this account seperate from your account. IRS likes seperate accounts.

Bills need to be paid etc, even after they pass away. Check with your bank.

If the parent get angry, and many times they do, YOU take charge. Explain that you need these forms signed to protect them. Without these forms HEPPA laws forbid any information to be released. If you have any questions, talk to the social security office (not just on the phone), talk to the social service at the hospital, and even a lawyer specializing in Elder law. Most cities have Senior Centers and/or Adult Care center for further information. Find out as much as you can before a problem occurs. Line up your resources first, keep a file, and remember when the parent becomes hard to handle GET HELP. Many things are free--just ask.

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I did this about 12 years ago with my parents. Or I should say they did this to me. I can't tell you how much easier it made the last few years. My mother passed away last year and it made a hugh differednce. I could take care of everything for my father. It took almost a year to get through all the trust attornies, accountants, apraisers,and banks, ect. My parents had everything set up in advance. Pre paid funeral, cemetary, trusts, everything. The one thing I learned is what a great gift it was to me and I have set up everything for our daughter in the last few months. Hard to talk about but such a great gift to give your child.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 1:10AM
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So true, Marie. Also be aware that the letter to Social Security DOES NOT apply to Medicare. A separate statement is needed for Medicare! Found that out the hard way!Derry

    Bookmark   June 29, 2005 at 7:53PM
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And some banks will not accept the usual Power of Attorney either. They have their own permission forms and they want the signature on that. It's a good idea to get to know a banking official at your favorite bank so that if anything unexpected or unusual comes up, you won't be a complete stranger. I know from personal experience that I was able to get some rules bent for mother only because the bank also held our business account and I was well known.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 12:17PM
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My dad had his finances with Merril Lynch, they would not accept the lawyer written POA at all!! We had to have their form filled out and notarized. So be sure to check everything your parents have in their names, if given the POA by them.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2005 at 10:53PM
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