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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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Hi @j266620j and thanks for your post:  I am going to respond to your question with some questions...

Have you discussed this with the attorney you used to prepare the power of attorney document?

Do you have family/loved ones who can assist with addressing this with your mom?

Is her behavior just poor decision making or do you think it's because of a cognitive decline?

Have you looked into a 

 

Just a thought as well:  if it is not financially in the cards for you, please don't feel that you have to bail out your mom's debts/put yourself in debt to help her.  Maintaining separation on your liabilities can be a lifesaver for you as the caregiver. 

 

Let us know more and let's see if we can help you come up with a plan of action going forward so you can help your mom stay afloat financially in the coming years.

Amanda Singleton
All posts are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The posting and viewing of the information in this community should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented may not reflect the most current legal developments. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues. Nothing written in this community is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement.
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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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If you have a POA look into freezing her Credit whrough one or more of the Credit Reporting Agencies.  If there isn't a POS perhaps a frank discussion with the Loved One and sitting with them during the process to freeze the credit.  Check it out first and don't just take my work for it.

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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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@a314633k wrote:

This leaves the OP in the miserable position of being blamed for their mother's "misfortune!" How can they handle THAT, even if they take this action? I think that's the greater question in a way! 


There is NO blame - when a person cannot handle their affairs for whatever reason, that's the reason that they give their POA to a trusted other - to handle their affairs.  This is planned in advance.

 

If there is no POA, then the situation ends up in Court cause somebody has to do it - the Court can appoint a person to act on behalf of the person that can no longer handle their affairs for cause - incapacity of some sort - physical or mental.  The court assigns this as Guardianship or Conservatorship.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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This leaves the OP in the miserable position of being blamed for their mother's "misfortune!" How can they handle THAT, even if they take this action? I think that's the greater question in a way! 

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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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What happens when she blows through her household spending account? Does she understand there's only so much in there? She may not remember, I'm sure that's the issue. Ugh, the only suggestions I have are so unpleasant -- just to close her credit card accounts so she can't authorize anything, tell the bank she can't authorize extra payments, etc. 

I have a friend whose mom opened up dozens of credit cards and ran them all up to the sky after she got dementia. The companies were all too willing to extend her as much credit as she wanted.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. 

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Re: Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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@j266620j wrote:

I am needing guidance with my 89 year old mother. She started having difficulty with her business affairs and forgetting to pay bills, etc. I have a POA so I stepped in to help. She is carrying a large amount of debt, but it's  manageable with a close watch on the finances. Once everything was set up on auto pay, I thought it would go smoothly but thought wrong. She continues to spend, authorize extra payments over the phone, etc. She has depleted all savings, and has whittled away any cushion in her bank account. Set her up with her own account for her household spending but she blows through that like water. Don't want her to lose everything she has but am at my wits end. She gets irrate and defiant in any conversation so need help. She has memory loss but refuses medical help. 


Read the POA - I assume you have it in a legal document and it has been signed by her assigning you this responsibility when certain conditions, usually outlined in the document, occur. Sounds like you have not fully activated the POA -

 

If she is incompetent (incapable/incapacitated) of managing her affairs then you need to have her declared as such and have your name as her POA put on and activated on all her accounts.  You may have to have her doctor sign off on her condition, you may have to go to court to become her guardian.  Depending upon their condition, sometimes you only have to activate the POA because their condition makes it so that they cannot and will not try to handle any of their affairs.

 

You cancel ALL her access to bank accounts / credit cards, etc. Give her a bit of cash if necessary but dish it out slowly during the month.  The POA is not going to work if she still has access. 

 

Either she has access to her money or she doesn't - there is no inbetween. 

 

In short, you do it all for her and you have pretty complete control.  The fundamental rules governing an agent’s power is that they are expected to act in their principal’s best interest.  You can sell assets, open accounts, close accounts - you can make arrangements of where she is going to live, qualify her for Medicaid or other government programs.

 

You may have to become her Representative Payee at the Social Security Administration accounting for those funds and where they will go to use for her benefit.  You become her health representative on Medicare - enabling you to discuss anything with Medicare; even making decisions for her on plans, etc.  You will need her health care POA or health directive to make any medical decisions for her legally.  If you do not have the later, work with the person(s) that do have it - hopefully that is in place.

 

You do it all allowed under the POA for her - acting as her legal agent.  You can do it now or you can wait and clean up the possible mess. 

 

Aging.com - Things You Can and Can't Do With Power of Attorney

 

The AARP has many articles on POA - do a search.

However, making it work when needed is sometimes not easy - depending upon the senior and their condition.

 

 

* * * * It's Always Something . . . Roseanne Roseannadanna
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Elderly parent refusing help with business affairs

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I am needing guidance with my 89 year old mother. She started having difficulty with her business affairs and forgetting to pay bills, etc. I have a POA so I stepped in to help. She is carrying a large amount of debt, but it's  manageable with a close watch on the finances. Once everything was set up on auto pay, I thought it would go smoothly but thought wrong. She continues to spend, authorize extra payments over the phone, etc. She has depleted all savings, and has whittled away any cushion in her bank account. Set her up with her own account for her household spending but she blows through that like water. Don't want her to lose everything she has but am at my wits end. She gets irrate and defiant in any conversation so need help. She has memory loss but refuses medical help. 

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