Analiese Asked February 2012

My mother is unable to handle her finances, can I go to court to oversee her finances?

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She is starting to forget things. She pays a lot in overdraft fee and returned checks. My dad is deceased, she is on a fixed income. Can I go to court to oversee her finances?

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geewiz Feb 2012
Analiese, go back to the financial institution with a copy of your Dad's death certificate. That should allow them to put your name on the accounts.

On the $200,000, maybe a look through the cancelled checks will give you some idea of where the money went.
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cmagnum Feb 2012
If your mother is not competent to handle her finances, she might not be competent to sign a durable POA. Has her doctor evaluated her to see if she is competent to conduct her business in a business like manner? If so, you are sort of up the creek and would then need to go for guardianship which involves getting lawyer, witnesses like a doctor to testify she is incompetent and the medical reasons why, and family members would have a chance to speak for or against this all with your mother sitting right their in the courtroom.

Why is your deceased father's name still on your mother's account for I thought a joint account with a spouse with right of survivorship became the surviving spouse's account upon the death of the other spouse. About 9 or 10 years ago, my mother added my name with right of survivorship to all of her personal accounts that are not connected to my step-dad. Does that mean that my mother's name will still be on the account after she dies?

I discovered my mother's financial and tax mess back in 2009 which dated back to 2004, plus just discovered a property trust mess, but she gave me durable POA back in 2003, but it was lost and thus got another one in 2009.

I wish you well in cleaning all of this up.
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Analiese Feb 2012
I had already had her mail sent to me, that's how I discovered her financial mess. I convinced her to put me on the account. But since my deceased father's name is also on the account, they were unable to. She took a out a reverse mortgage, a year ago, she was given a lump sum of $200,000 and refuses to say what she did with it.
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geewiz Feb 2012
POA is the ultimate but it requires visiting an attorney (who may feel your Mom is not capable of signing such a document). When I first noticed my Mom was getting "fuzzy" on these issues, I mentioned to her that my MIL had my husband as a co-signor on her checking account so he could write out the bills if she wasn't feeling well. (Not true, at this point I've told so many white lies I've lost count! : - )) My Mom thought this was a GREAT idea and we visited the bank and my name was added so I could write the checks out. Shortly before this, I had suggested she put all the medical bills and statements in one pile and we'd do them together since the statements are so-o confusing. That was a blessing to her as well. I just picked up the pile each visit and she never asked about them. Before I brought in round the clock aides, I quietly removed all of the financial paperwork. I changed the mailing address to my home so none of that went to her place.

My husband just broached the subject of having his Mom let her POA (hubby's brother) get the bills and statements and pay them. She agreed so quickly, my husband was shocked!

I think sometimes we create our own concerns and our parents are much more willing to let go than we imagine! Good luck
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Analiese Feb 2012
Thank you, how do I go about getting power of attorney ? What's the first step?
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Is going to court the only option? Are you close to your mom? Would she give to a durable power of attorney (DPOA) and accept your help in managing her finances? It would be helpful to have a little more information. You have my sympathy.
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