We are selling my mom's house and I am not sure what to change her address to—the assisted living facility where she resides, or my address so I am sure to receive anything important. Thoughts?


It depends on a bunch of factors. A couple questions to ask include:

  • Do you live near the assisted living facility and will be visiting her regularly to bring her "social mail"?
  • Who takes care of her "business mail"—Does she handle her own checkbook, or do you take care of all of that?


You may decide to have important mail sent to your house to make sure it isn't lost and you can handle it promptly. But have social mail sent to her—greeting cards, newspapers, magazines, etc., if you don't visit her often.


If you have financial power of attorney (POA) or an agreement with your mom to help her pay the bills, I'd have the mail sent to you and then you can hand deliver personal mail when you visit (at least weekly).



If you have POA, like the others have said, make your address her legal address so all bills, tax documents, bank statements, brokerage statements, Medicare EOB, and anything from Social Security, etc., come to your address. This will be the address that you will use for her for tax document and anything legal.


You could give her Assisted Living address to friends and family who might want to write to her. Many assisted living places do not have a secured mailbox for the residents, so keep that in mind. Sometimes a resident may pick up the mail of others by mistake or because they have a mental impairment.



You probably need to change her address officially to your address on Medicare and Social Security. Sometimes this is a problem when picking a Medicare plan since they are by area. But if you are not very far from her, this is no big deal.


If there is a need, now or later on, she needs to add your name to the Medicare and Social Security file so that you can talk to them about any matter. If she becomes mentally incapacitated, you will have to become a Representative Payee on Social Security. This only means that you are authorized to spend this money for her benefit and will have to account for such with them. 

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