Taking Over Parent's Finances: 10 Things You Should Know

10 Things You Should Know About Your Parent's Finances

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Don't do a thing, mean parents deserve a mean end. I have been berated, belittled, lied about, put down and stomped upon by my mother who uses me to make herself a victim. Save yourself, check out and let the one she appointed do it.
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I think that is a great tip! However, I would like to add that individual states should be considered as well. I filed late this year for TYE 2013 for federal and state for mom and step-father ~ I hold POA for both. I signed returns for both as POA, included copies of POA (highlighting language related to federal and state income taxes) and sent certified mail. Federal refund was received quite promptly. State has still not been received 7 months later.
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This topic is vital. People facing dementia of any variety have a whirlwind of issue to face. At a minimum, solid Powers of Attorney should be drafted. Too often I see weak, wrong or outdated POAs in place. That is the first, but not the last concern for Elder Law Estate Planning Attorneys.
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Complicated. My father passed away 3 months ago. I was his Medical POA. My sister was Finacial POA of my father and mother and medical POA of my mother. Please note, my father was hospitalized with a terminal illness and my mother was diagnosed with dementia and feels she was forced to sign these papers), I received a tx message at 0303 that my mothers bags were packed and I had to take her to the state I reside.
During the care of my father, his wishes were for my mother to be in my care, due to the unhealthy relationship that my sister has with my mother and I. My sister was reported to Adult Proctive Service by a physician, for medical neglect of my mother.
Since, I have moved my mother to the state that I reside, my mother is domiciled in this state and she hired a attorney to appoint me as the POA of finances and medical, which revoked my sister. Unfortunately, after my sister recieved notice that she was "Revoked", $$$$ was removed from several of my parents accounts. My mother has hired attorneys in two states to assist in the estate.
My sister insist that my POA is invalid, although it was completed by an attorney and not a form printed off line.
My sister has now refused to pay any of the bills that are consider in the trust. She is stating my mother is incompetent and taken the role of Co-Trustee of the family trust.
I have had my mother tested by a neuropsychologist and she is deemed compent over her financial matters.
I have found out today that none of the bills have been paid. I do not have access to pay these bills. Any thoughts???
The attorney seems as frustrated as me
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I had all of the above documents and thought we were well planned for our parents but when the actual time came for me to execute my DPOA I discovered that the federal government does not recognize it and I should've had a Payee Representative form. I was very upset as we paid a lot of money to a very reputable attorney to do this for us. He should've added this to his paperwork and I have since told him so. I'd like to share this with everyone.
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H20user - I'm sorry you are going through this, but I can relate. My stepfather has always been verbally abusive to mom and me, and now that I convinced him that he could be jailed for abusing mom, he has turned all his anger on me. He has physically attacked me 3 times and cornered me another time. I have both their POAs. Things are getting bad and he's trying to get me to leave. He is also rearranging all the furniture and ruining the beautiful job my mom did decorating their house. APS was of no help at all - stepfather and sister are both pathological liars. APS rep said stepfather and I need counseling and that will resolve everything. Hardly!! Not when stepfather won't be honest about anything. I may have to take mom and leave but I'm disabled and can't work, still waiting on disability decision so not sure where we would go. Extremely depressed and feel trapped.
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I just recently had to take over the bill payment for my Dad. My Mom use to do all the budgeting/finances but has since passed. One day while visiting Dad I happened to have noticed current bills mixed in with the recycling, and saw on Dad's desk bills that were over due. Oops.

Oh my gosh, this has turned into a full-time job... going on-line and trying to change addresses so the bills come to me and not to Dad.... love the ones that ask for a "pin" number, have no clue what the number would be and Dad [94] wouldn't know.

And Dad has dozens of 3-ring binders with all sorts of financial information, and trying to match mix-matched papers has been a chore. Stocks go back to the 1960's.... [sigh]. And there are gaps, heavens knows where those papers are hiding !! I did find some missing Medicare paperwork in the binder for the car repairs.

Whew, just this past week I was finally able to consolidate all the checking and savings accounts into one bank, instead of having these accounts scattered in various banks. Wasn't until after the fact that I noticed that Dad's Social Security check and pension check went to an account that I had closed. Was able to get the Social Security check to the correct bank via on-line, but will need to call the pension group in person as the on-line site wasn't user friendly... hope I can speak with a human.

Then all the change of addresses as Dad recently moved into Independent Living, finally, he and Mom should have done that years ago... then they could have done all this paperwork :P
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Stepdad has Med POA and I have Fin POA for my mother. He appears normal to most but is jealous of mother daughter relationship and would like me not to associate with her. Has stroke granddaughter with cane and attempted to hit me. I think my Mom needs to rewrite her will and Med POA.
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These are great tips that can help adult children manage the finances of their aging loved ones. This is very important especially now that most seniors will need long term care. Its cost is devastating so it's important that you have an idea whether your parents have insurance products and other investments that can help cover their future long-term care needs. In addition to this list, I think adult children should know if their parents applied for reverse mortgage. Why? If your parents applied for reverse mortgage and died, the lender will take their home. This is a big problem if you'll inherit their home. It's important to know these things in order to avoid inconveniences and financial woes in the future. To those who are asking what is a reverse mortgage can refer to these helpful resources:


http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/rmtopten

http://www.revmortgage.org/education/what-is-a-reverse-mortgage/

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages
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When I took over finances for Mom and her husband, they were so bad we had to file bankruptcy for both. As bad as that was, it was a blessing in some ways because it was the opportunity to stop all the bad spending habits. All the credit cards were shredded and accounts were closed. All they had left were their bank cards. I told them they could never be used online for any reason whatsoever and they believed me. I told them all charges of that type would need to be charged on my credit card and paid back to me. So that is how we have handled for the last 4 years. Step-father has started getting a little out of control again but I'm working on reigning him back in. I have POA for both. Mom has Frontotemporal dementia but he is becoming very forgetful. Both are 75. He still works part-time. I live with them and manage all finances, grocery shopping, etc.. He is typical man and resents not having control over everything so is very passive aggressive. Will buy things knowing I just bought them and let them go to waste. Anyway, bankruptcy was a humbling experience for both of them, at the time. Mom no longer remembers it even happened. Step-father takes advantage of memory loss. Recommend having ducks in a row as early as possible, including POA, will, advance directives, organ donation, burial vs. cremation decisions, etc. Can be the cause of many family problems - especially between siblings and / or when step-families are involved!! Good luck to all of us traveling through this journey ...
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