How do you know when is the right time to take total control of your father's finances and give him an allowance?

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IMHO - don't give money unless parent lets you take over the finances. Then contact everyone & notify them of you POA & have bills sent to you.
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Oh, as far as the $21,000+ of credit card bills? I contacted all the credit card companies & told them my dad was old & sick & no longer made his own decisions. I told them he had no property or assets & his only income was from SS. I also told them that he was not going to pay his debt & they were not to contact him, his family, or his friends. So far there are still two places that keep calling him.
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I recently went through this experience. My dad called in 2012. He needed $1500 for dental work & another $500 just because. I paid the credit card bill & sent him $500. In October 2013 he asked me for $600. He said he had gotten behind on the bills when his wife was in hospital. I sent it to him. I later found out he gave that money to one of his wife's relatives. When he called in December he asked for $500. I asked him if he would like me to take over paying his bills for him. He said yes. I sent him the $500. I also went down to Tennessee the next week. (If he would have said no I would not have given him any money.)

As it was I got down there in the nick of time. He was months behind on the mortgage payment, all the utilities, all the insurance premiums, he had a pay day loan from every pay day loan store in Crossville, TN. (7 loans), he had outstanding medical bills, and he had $21,000+ of credit card debt!

The first thing I did was go to legal aid with my dad & get DPOA. Then we went to the police station to file identy theft report. I truly thought my dad had been a victum of identy theft. The next day we went to the bank & closed the old checking account & opened a joint accouont. The bank officer called SS & had his check transferred to the new account. I had to stop all the auto-debits. I contacted all the utilities & insurance companies to let them know I was taking over paying my dad's bills. I had to fax copy of POA to a number of places. I was able to bring him current on his utilities & insurance premiums & we have gone through mortgage modification.

There was also emergency car repair & emergency pumping of septic.

Right now everything is OK. Please, Lord, no more emergencies for a while!
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My mother is 69-years-old and has screwed herself financially. She settled a divorce with my father 25 years ago and acquired a nice sum of money, all of which is gone. Lately, she has been blowing money on crazy things that she doesn't need, or giving in to my older sister's manipulation. My younger sister and I are very frustrated and keep having to bale her out of her financial black hole. We really just want to take over her finances, but aren't sure how to address it with her without disempowering her. She has given up on working and is living off of $725 for social security every month. My sister and I have very young children and are not in a position to help her as much as she needs. We think she has signs of early onset dementia or ADHD. Do we go through a doctor first? Is she too young for us to intervene???
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One more thing. The authorizations for a durable POA are far sweeping in their range and depth. There is a mental adjustment that is psychologically healthy and in my opinion needed for a healthy use of this too. That is grasping the idea that you have been authorized to act and speak in their behalf according to the guidelines of the document and the general statutes of your state which should be refered to in the Durable POA. In other words, almost like a Bishop tells newly orained elders and deacons to take thou authority for the office of ___ for the ___, __, for the sake of the ministry of the church as a whole, the granting of a durable and medical POA by a loved one is their way of saying without saying to take the authority for the duties of this POA for my sake as I am no longer to handle my business and make sound medical decisions for myself.
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Technically, the durable POA is your authority to speak as if she were speaking. They must not understand the durable POA if they want someone's verbal consent for like my mother sometimes they are not right then able to talk much less understand enough to say yes. Every situation that I ran into like this they nicely gave me their fax number and I sent it to them. Now, one group was real picky who requested the certified copy and then gave it to their legal department for a few days to validate it.
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Contact each bank and give them a copy of your durable POA. Give her doctor's a copy and hopefully you have medical POA as well which doctor's and local hospitals like to have a copy of. Contact every business that she has regular bills from and let them know that you will be signing checks as her POA to pay these bills. If she has any investments, those who manage those investments needs to know of your POA. Some of these organizations will want a certified copy of your POA which your county clerk of court can make. It is a good idea to file your durable POA with the clerk of court for it becomes part of their records and is often available for veiwing online. I assume by taking over the bill paying for her that you mean wriiting your name on her checks with P.O.A written beside your name. Furthermore, you will need to contact the IRS for they have some paper work for you to complete which will give you a special code to always use when signing her federal tax returns and to empower you to discuss her tax returns with the IRS. It's a good idea to send a copy of your POA with each state and IRS tax return each year just to cover your rear. In telling your family members, they need to hear that your mother has given you durable POA which authorizes you to tend to her business. That might sit better with some who might not really understand instead of hearing I got durable POA from mom. Just a thought.
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Yes, do it as soon as possible. I had to contact the companies while my Mom was with me so that she could give verbal permission for me to be the contact person. Being the person responsible for paying the bills does NOT mean that you have been added to the person's account though. By the time that I took over and my Mom had accrued alot of credit card debt, I worried about that and how it would affect my credit rating. You can go ahead and sign the checks as long as you tell the Bank. You don't have to have an account with the person.
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We started action when we discovered my brother-in-law was pressuring his mom for money. She has dementia and although she is living in assisted living, my husband and I are her chief caregivers. Her doctor recently contacted us and told us he was willing to help as he was concerned about the number of appointments she missed recently...she keeps forgetting them.

We have secured a durable power of attorney but we are not sure where to go from here....do we start contacting everyone, banks, drs, family, etc and let them know we are taking over bill paying for her? Is there a particular protocol for notifying everyone that we now are responsible?
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Without knowing all the circumstances, I would say that if you are asking that question, there may have been signs that it's time now. I had to take control of my mom's finances before she even had dementia - it's been about 20 yrs ago. She was finding it hard to not overdraw and was writing duplicate checks to places. She resisted some at first, but it only took a couple of months of her not having to worry about it - and giving her an allowance (cash to spend as she would like) - before she appreciated the intervention. When she got alzheimer's, I had to quit giving the cash as she would lose it, but I made sure that her beauty appts, requests were still met by pre-paying or getting them myself.
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