In California, I have been living with, and caring for, my widowed mother for 10 years. She has become increasingly more incapacitated mentally, due to Alzheimer's disease, and physically, due to her age [89] and ill health. She and I have an excellent relationship and for 10 years I have been making all decisions regarding health care and finances, all with her approval.
During that time, I have arranged all her medical appointments, discussed details of her illnesses and care with all her doctors, completed all of her medical, insurance and other forms. I have managed 6 properties she owns and paid her bills. All of this has been done with her consent and that of my brother and sister who live close by and who interact with me and our mother regularly.
I did all this and never took the time to execute a power of attorney, not even for health care. I now realize that was a mistake. As the result of a broken hip, my mother is now in a convalescent home. She recognizes me and on her 'good' days is appropriate in conversation and behavior, but also has 'bad' days when her behavior and speech are confused and irrational. She is not expected to return home.
Now, I fear my legal standing to make further decisions regarding her assets and care may be in question. The convalescent home staff has asked me to complete a form indicating what level of help to give her in case of a medical emergency. Can I do this legally?
I would like to dispose of some her real estate to provide more funds for her care. How can I do this legally?
FYI: In her will, I am named as executor.
What steps must I take to insure my actions on her behalf are legal?