Q: MY MOTHER IS VERY ILL. RIGHT NOW I AM TRYING TO WORK ARRANGEMENTS WITH CREDITORS TO CATCH UP ON HER BILLS THAT HAVE NOT BEEN PAID. I WAS TOLD THAT I WOULD NEED TO GET A POWER OF ATTORNEY OR LIVING WILL. WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE TO HELP WITH HER AFFAIRS BUT NOT TAKE THE FINANCIAL BURDEN ON WHEN SHE PASSES?
A: If your mother is still competent, she can sign a Power of Attorney. My suggestion is to have her consult with an attorney to ensure that the Power of Attorney drafted will give you the specific powers that you need. By becoming her agent on a POA, you do not assume any financial responsibility for her debts as long as you do not exceed or abuse the powers granted to you.