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CITIES SERVED Ballwin, Bridgeton, Chesterfield, Earth City, Fenton, Glencoe, Grover, Hazelwood, Maryland Heights, O Fallon, Portage Des Sioux, Saint Ann, Saint Charles, Saint Louis, Saint Peters, Valley Park, West Alton Florissant

Zip Codes Served 63301, 63373, 63303, 63304, 63366, 63368, 63376, 63045, 63005, 63011, 63017, 63021, 63038, 63040, 63088, 63026, 63386, 63031, 63033, 63034, 63042, 63043, 63044, 63074, 63134, 63138, 63145, 63146, 63114, 63115, 63120, 63121, 63130, 63132, 63133, 63135, 63136, 63137, 63140, 63147, 63106, 63107, 63108, 63112, 63113, 63128, 63129, 63101, 63102, 63103, 63104, 63105, 63110, 63111, 63116, 63118, 63139, 63109, 63117, 63119, 63122, 63123, 63124, 63125, 63126, 63127, 63131, 63141, 63143, 63144

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By Nancy McClure

Last week a colleague told me a story of when she was new to the business and a family came in to find a place for their parents.  All the paperwork got filled out and the community was ready to accept this couple with open arms.  What my colleague did not know is that the parents had no idea they were going to be moved.  This all happened behind their backs.  

When the family brought them in the parents were very distraught and refused to stay.The parents went back to their house (which the kids had put on the market).

Moral: Just because you have Power of Attorney does not mean you can force your parents or loved ones into a community.   

Another colleague told me about a family that had Power of Attorney, but the gentleman had done it the cheap way and downloaded it from a site on the Internet.  He downloaded the wrong type so when he became incapacitated the Power of Attorney was no longer valid.


Although the remaining details of this story were not shared with me, the family was put in a terrible dilemma where they were required to get guardianship and conservatorship.  This can take up to six months and can cost several thousand dollars. Sometimes an emergency guardianship/conservatorship can be rushed, but until a guardianship and conservatorship are established the family may not be able to pay bills or make medical decisions.


What about the spouse?  The State of Missouri is one of the few states left that does not have a law that gives a spouse the decision-making capabilities for medical decisions if one becomes incapacitated.  

Moral: Going cheap at the wrong time can cost much more in the long run.  Use a lawyer to create your Power of Attorney and Medical Directives.   

If you don’t have money to pay for a lawyer, the Mid-East Area on Aging can direct you to lawyers that have reduced rates or do pro bono work for anyone over the age of 60.  Their phone number is (636) 207- 0847. Their toll-free number is 1 (800) AGE-6060