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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 13905
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I am 66 years old, and I live in Iowa. I want to set up a

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I am 66 years old, and I live in Iowa. I want to set up a POA. My cousin is knowledgeable about medical issues and is willing to be my Medical Power of Attorney, but would prefer that my brother, who lives about 100 miles from her, have the authority to pay bills, etc. Is it possible to state in a POA what I stated above. I am sure that were any serious medical issues arise, my cousin and my brother would discuss the issue. Trying to Put my brother's name on my checking accounts has proven to be quite a complicated issue, but is that really the only way to resolve this issue? AND..more important is the fact that my financial issue is such, I live on Social Security, that I really can't afford an attorney. Do I have any options? I understand that all I need for a will is to state my wishes and have my signature notarized; is there a simpler way to do a POA. The botXXXXX XXXXXne is that I want my brother and my cousin to be able to make medical and financial decisions should I become incapable of doing so, but until that time, I make my own decisions. I also want a DNR.
Thank you for your question.

What you are asking to do is possible, but you're talking about two separate documents, actually (three if you include the DNR).

For your brother to be able to pay your bills should you become unable to do so (e.g., you end up in a coma, for example), you would want a "Durable" Power of Attorney, which gives the person authority to do things such as pay your bills, , deposit checks into your bank accounts, file your taxes, etc. A "durable" power of attorney simply means that it is valid through your period of incapacity, and only terminates either when you are competent and revoke it, or you pass away.

Putting his name on your bank accounts would generally be less favored, because by doing so, when you pass away, he would automatically be the owner of the account, which may or may not be your intention. Additionally, if you make him a joint owner now, he could theoretically take all of the money out of the account and spend it, without consequence, because he would have just as much right as you to the money.

For your cousin to make medical decisions for you if you are not compentent to do so, you need to get a Medical Power of Attorney, also called a "Health Care Surrogate", or "Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care." This document is not combined with a Power of Attorney for financial affairs.

A DNR is not something a lawyer would prepare. That is something you would want to discuss with your doctor and mention that you would like in your medical file. Additionally, it is standard procedure that when you enter a hospital (assuming you are competent) for a procedure, they will ask you each time if you want a DNR.

Here is a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions from Iowa Legal Aid you can fill out.

Here is a Durable Power of Attorney for Property/Finances. I've also found this one.

Note that you do still need to have these executed in front of a notary.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you very much. I printed the form for Health Care, but when I tried
to print the other Durable Power Attorney forms, I was unable to do so.
When I clicked on the space next to your statement that you had found a
"Durable Power of Attorney for Property and Finances, a web site selling
the document came up - $9.99 for the document. However, when I clicked on
"I've also found "this one", the pages came up on my screen; however, when
I tried to print that form, I was not allowed the option of printing it.
Is this a legal issue or is it, for some reason, going to force me to pay
for the document if I want it? Granted, $9.99 certainly beats the cost of
seeing an attorney; however.... I checked my printer and printed the page
now on my screen, so I am sure that the problem is not with the printer.
Regardless, you have really put my mind at ease. My brother and I have
discussed putting his name on my account, and ironically, he made the same
comment. I know my brother, and I know that he is a very ethical man;
however, as I have told a friend, "One never knows what will happen when
money is involved." Therefore, I agree with you, and the Durable Power of
Attorney for Property and Finances" is the better way to go. I am,
however, curious to know why I am not allowed to print the second form.

I unfortunately could not find a free version of the Durable Power for Finances - although you could probably copy and paste the form from the first link into a Word document and print it that way. If that doesn't work, then yes, the cheapest option I have found is that so far. You may also want to check out the site "Rocketlawyer" - I believe you can get a free trial of the service and find the document that way, then cancel the service.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No free document? Not a problem. As I said, $9.99 is certainly better than having to pay an attorney. Unfortunately, in addition to not allowing me to print the document, I cannot cut and paste, but I appreciate the suggestion.

Thank you for the suggestion of "Rocketlawyer." I will check that site.

Thank you again for being so thorough.


Anne Nielsen

No problem - it was a pleasure. All the best to you.