You may want to consider re-posting this summary using an Iowa location to insure that more Iowa lawyers actually see it. Generally speaking, the POA allows you to act on behalf of your mother, but it does not prevent her from doing so. If she is making transactions that place her at risk, then you may need to obtain guardianship/conservatorship, in order to put this to a stop.
As far as the POA is concerned, it is either activated as soon as it is signed or once the terms dictate. Typically, a POA that does not take effect right away takes effect upon a determination by a court or two physicians that the principal no longer has capacity to act.
An attorney can help you with this process.
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You need to look at POA to determine if it is effective immediately or whether it is a springing DPOA where a doctor's written determination of incapacity is needed. In addition, agent would need an original of the excuted document to act in most cases unless the document says third parties can rely on copies of the executed document.