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I'm sorry, folks, my past 3 or maybe it was only 2 (I can't remember) days have been so awful this is the first I've been on the site for a while.

For months I have been writing out Mother's checks. For a while she signed them and then I started signing her name on them. However, sometimes in paying the bills, it got so normal that sometimes I'd sign my name. So, I decided I need to take the POA which I finally accepted about 6 months ago, but Mother had the foresight to do 13 years ago, to the bank.

Well, I walked into the bank with a check for her monthly money and the POA and explained to the guy what I was doing. The one branch had told me all I needed to do was present the POA and all would be fine. He said "the same person who filled out the check, signed it." I said yes, I did, but I have this POA. Well, he tells me he can't accept it; I have to talk with an officer. OMG, it had been so bad I lost it. The way he said it got me really upset. I start saying fine give me an GD officer, and I start crying and a little cursing -- thank goodness no one else was in the bank at the time. Well, long sorry short, the bank will not accept the POA because the checking account is in a trust and a trust can't have a POA. This stupid woman officer sits there and says how she understand; I say no you don't. You have no idea the pressure & stress I'm under and you won't help me on account of a stupid technicality. My Mother has over $12K in just a checking account on which you pay only $1.04 interest a month, but you are probably making a lot more money on by loaning it to other people. They refused to cash the check. Refused to honor the POA. So, I grabbed the check, went to another branch, walked in and acted like a normal month and at least they cashed it. OMG, it was not pretty, but I don't care. My Mother is the most important thing, not my reputation in this stupid town.

Well, the next day, I took Mother to the bank, had a check written out but not signed and had her sign it in front of the clerk. The bank had suggested I go to an attorney and have paper drawn up putting me as trustee on the trust. Why should I pay for an attorney on something I can skirt around. Thank goodness we switched all the CDs to dividend bearing stocks years ago or that stupid dang bank would be making even more money off her.

Thank goodness, Mother had a lucid moment and said in the car, "Tell me what we are doing so I don't have to ask in front of the bank people"...lol...I was so proud of her. All went well. We withdrew all the money except for about $300. We went to another bank opened a new checking account and they accepted the POA because that account is not in the trust. Problem might be that account will have to go through probate because it is not in the trust. But if I see death is coming, I'll close the account. Plus she has a stock money market account to pay everything anyway. I'm just so angry at that bank I can't tell you. Nothing but a case of CYA!

As soon as I get her SS check and her pension check direct deposit switched to the new bank checking account, I will also close my account and switch my stuff. Show that stupid bank what they can do with their technicalities.

Sorry folks, didn't mean to go on or vent so much. Some times it is just very cathartic for me to type out my feelings. Plus, I just found out yesterday, that Mother's blood work -- she's lost 7 pounds in 3 months and I asked a question on OTC appetite increasers -- was not good. Her white blood cell count is down to 910. We are doing a recheck on Monday. This is a woman who is on fewer meds than me for my cardiac stent and, except for knee replacement surgery 3 years ago, has never been in the hospital except for having her children.

I know a lot of people on here have not so many funds and I apologize for venting on a different problem. I'm amazed my folks built up the money they did. My Dad was just a milkman who delivered milk and my Mother a part time seamstress, neither made near the money I have in a yearly salary, but geez were they able to save. I doubt I'll be in as good a financial shape.

I'm sorry, the progression of this disease has me just flabbergasted and .... at a loss for words. Thanks to all for being there and letting me vent.

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LEP, if the checking account is in the trust, which is the problem I had, and you are currently a trustee on the trust, you have no worries on the checking account. The trust continues as is after death. The new trustees just take over. No problems. My two brothers and I will be trustees on the trust after Mother dies. The thing is, that my bank told me and why they refused to honor the POA, a trust cannot have a POA. They suggested I become a current trustee on the trust now before she dies, which I didn't want to do because (1) I have the POA and (2) I have a brother who does nothing to help out and all he does is make accusations. Plus, I hate paying legal fees when I can figure a way to skirt around it. So, I just found it easier to open a new checking account that is not in the trust and on which I am POA. As I said, if I see things happening, I will close that checking account that is not in the trust, so it does not have to go through probate and pay everything out of the stock money market checking account.

But, if your folk's checking account is in the trust, which I gather from your posts, and you are a current trustee, there is no problem.

My apologies to any attorneys on this site. I also worked in the legal field for over 20+ years as an expert witness. Most, not all, attorneys like to make us feel like they know it all, and we totally need them. Whereas, if you use common sense and just do what seems natural, they really are not always necessary. You can do so much of this yourself if you use common sense.

So, I could not see paying an attorney to put me on the estate as a current trustee when I could merely take Mother to the bank, have her withdraw the money there in front of them and start a new checking account outside the trust, that honored the POA. Screw paying an attorney. Sorry, folks, for the language, a long hard day.

But today, at least I finally got up the nerve to ask my Mother to sign a contract giving me and the one brother who does help a salary of $20/day. Not a lot and I don't want a lot, but it will show the other dip shit brother what it is about. So, I'm with Mother about, depending, 5 to 7 hours a day, so that's what? About $3.33 an hour? It's not about the money, it's about the principal of his not helping.

Thanks so much for you all being here. Tonight was the first night, I walked over at midnight to make sure her kitty got his night meds and I notice the front door totally opened and unlocked. OMG...a new problem, but I'll deal with it -- thanks to the support I get from this website. You are all great!
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Debralee, that's how my mother's acct is registered also. It is joint, with me designated as POD, POA. (I suppose the PayOnDeath is a moot point, but that's the way they set it up way back when). It is strictly used for her expenses only. Since the registration clearly shows my POA designation, I am not personally at risk with creditors for her money. And of course the other important advantage is that the account will not be frozen upon her death. That used to be a comfort, but unfortunately in Mom's case, it is reduced to a joke, as the NH takes just about every penny each month!
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I am joint on my mother's checking account, Dpoa and Executor of her will. Legally the checking account amount will be automatically passed on to me. I do not co-mingle my fiances with hers. I handle the account strictly as a convenience account. When she passes I will use some of the money to pay for any outstanding debts. Any monies left over will be deposited into the estate account to be divided to the heirs along with all probatable assets. The heirs are me and my two siblings. Her estate is too small for any inheritence/estate taxes. The joint account idea is so that her checking account will not be frozen upon her death and I can continue to pay any oustanding debts.
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Lep627, I respect your experience as a legal secretary, but I am surprised that any account is under your personal individual social security #. I am almost certain that any assets under your personal SS# are attachable by creditors and the IRS. I would think that as a Trustee, POA, or other legal designee, you would have been assigned a separate tax ID# in that capacity. I used to work for an investment advisor and when clients put their assets into a trust, the Trust had a tax ID# which was separate from the Trustee's personal SS#. It was the TRUST Tax ID# that went on the bank accounts, and the Trustee was the authorized signator. I am glad you are looking for a new Elder Law attorney. To safeguard your own interests, I hope you will also get air tight facts from the new lawyer as to the repercussions of using your own SS# as a legal reperesentative on someone else's assets.
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Thanks for letting me know about the bank account being frozen at time of death. I will call the bank. I just fired the Elder Law attorney (and looking for a new one). But I am the Trustee too. Though I don't know if that makes any difference. Thanks everyone for telling me about that.
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I was lucky in that my parents had been adding my name to all their asseets before my mother got sick ( dad has Alz) . however, she ended up in the hospital with CHF before it was all done. The bank has been great (dad can still sign his name) and I can handle their finances, but I am stessing over selling their home. Mom is sharp, but Dad is gonna be a handfull! I have POA, but this is gonna be a mess I'm afraid.
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I've got all but 2 of a case of Heineken, left over from a party this week. Where should I send it? ;)
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yay i was right about something AND i have a cool new beer mug. the 3rd armored division was deactivated after desert storm so the mug is especially a rarity.
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@captain.. every one of us is wrong at some point.. besides, you weren't wrong about the checking account being frozen once a person dies, you're right!
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im often wrong but i still have a cool new beer mug.. suckers !!
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There is a difference between a checking account and a trust. Checking accounts are frozen at the time of death, trusts are not.
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Captain -- sorry, but you're wrong. Trusts do not go through probate, that's why my parents made it a trust instead of just having a will. I was a legal secretary for years, and I worked for a probate attorney for awhile. Also, I went to 3 attorneys to be sure that the info I had is current. Also, I am in charge of the Trust and the accounts have my name as Power of Attorney.
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i disagree LEP,,
if your mother passes away and your not on a joint account with her , her checking account will be as frozen as eskimo. poa terminates upon death and her assets will be frozen in probate till global warming thaws the eskimo.
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By the way everyone, you do not want your name on ANY account unless it is as a Power of Attorney. You can be financially responsible for taxes and possibly elder abuse. Believe me, I know. My brother has reported me to Adult Protective Services several times (due to my getting a Temporary Restraining Order filed against him because he got physical with me). I was investigated and cleared, but if there are people in your family who are greedy and/or jealous, they will have some leverage if any accounts are under your name and not as the POA.
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I have my Mom's Power of Attorney too. I opened a trust checking & savings accounts at Chase with my name and the trust name. They faxed my Power of Attorney to their legal department (which took no longer than 20 minutes). Then they opened the account under my social security number. My Mom actually has no access to the account (I opened it that way because she has gone on a few big shopping trips and not only spent a fortune, but bought clothes for someone who is 35-40).

I don't understand WHY you, the Power of Attorney weren't allowed to do that. My Mom has Alzheimer's and is not considered competent. Chase has bent over backwards for me. They are always very helpful. I got her a refillable debit card too (because she was hoarding cash, losing it and accusing me of stealing it). The Alzheimer's Association suggested that. Things are a lot more peaceful and no more arguments re money anymore.
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@Captain, That's my cousin you're dissing! Honest, he's my 15th cousin.

Besides, he doesn't have banjo lips. Dumbo ears, maybe, but not banjo lips. Get your facts straight!

Does putting that @ sign in the post do anything? I have noticed that some people use it....
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That was funny, captain. That's how my little brother got a ticket. The cops were cheating. They caught him speeding from the helicopter and sent their squad car sitting awaiting for offenders like my bro. Nowadays, when you speed, you have to remember to also look UP! =)

My name is on both father's accounts. He cannot sign his name now on his checks. I refuse to have POA over him and he is "not stupid to have someone have authority over him." His words, not mine.
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who would have ever thought that cramming a motorcycle thru marion indiana at 1;00 am chasing down zans with everclear could be a felony? i was hovering, bastards had to fly up and get me down with a helicopter.
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Oh, Captain, thank you so much for the laugh. You are my kind of man. You just say it like it is. I try not to talk how I think, but lots of times, I think worse than one can imagine. Too bad Indiana is so far from PA, we could have a great time. Thanks so much; also ROTF,LMAO
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Captain, you silver-tongued devil! One minute you sound so calm and civilized and the next - Kapow!

What does a sack of F*** look like? ROTFL.
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i got a hell of a surprise when my mother passed away. i couldnt serve as personal representative because i have a d felony in my past. fortunately i was beneficiary on all her fluid assets and that shit doesnt count as part of the estate. furthermore the attorney still permitted me to negotiate and settle with the hor sisters. the bank was more than cooperative . cd,s were cashed, a gm trust fund was terminated and reopened in my name, im sayin the bank treated us well. the d felony should have been amended by now were it not for a lying sack of f*** judge in marion indiana.
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Thanks to everyone. You know there is a big part of me that wants to go to the bank officer after I have the account totally closed and say, HA, HA! Stick your technicalities where the sun doesn't shine!

Sunflo, Macada's response on you don't want on the account because you could be partially taxed is spot on right. Another reason is, there should be no co-mingling of monies. I am not on any of Mother's account for just those reasons, plus, I don't want to give my one brother any reason to say I co-mingled my monies with Mother's and how does he know I didn't take hers. Heck, if I ever charged for my time, there would probably be nothing left & he wouldn't get a penny. Sorry, off topic, he's another story. But with the POA I have the power to write out checks, withdraw money or anything if she can't. Of course, the POA is only to the time of death. It ceases to exist once the parent dies.

Blannie, my folks never handled their stocks. I always handled them through a discount broker. The brokerage merely asked Mother to sign a letter stating I had the authority to make transactions in her account. It wasn't even an actual POA. Check with your investment firm and see if they might accept something similar, if your Mother will sign it, and that would take away one problem for you.

Thanks again, everyone. It was a much better day today.
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I understand your pain! Mom's bank wouldn't accept my POA she did at the nursing home. So, I took her to the bank and had her sign one in front of them. No more problems since. Isn't funny though how we hear about all the bad relatives squandering mom and dad's money. Where are the banks then?
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Boy Rebecca, I can empathize with you and your bank problems! My parents, like yours managed to save quite a bit of money, even though they started with nothing and my mom never worked after she had my brother and me. My dad is gone and now it's just my mom and me. I handle all of her money and pay all of her bills. When my dad died, I started paying attention to their stocks and bonds and got more involved in the investing he had done. I kick myself that I didn't do it sooner (my dad was paying for a full service brokerage where they charge you an arm and a leg to do anything). I closed all of that out eventually and moved everything to Vanguard and cheaper index stocks and bonds.

But many times I've had to coach my mom before either a call from the investment people verifying that they could talk to me or taking her to the bank. I always feel like they think I'm stealing from my mom, which is the last thing I'd ever do. My mom has no short-term memory and so I always sweat like an idiot until we get through and she's been able to answer their questions like she knows what's going on. She gets nervous and also goes blank sometimes. When we had her will redone, she kept telling the attorney she had no memory, so the attorney started asking her questions, trying to make sure she was of sound mind. So now I have to tell her NOT to say that to people at the bank, LOL. My mom stays up on the news and works her daily crossword puzzle and comments on politics, etc. But she has no short-term memory, so it can be dicey when you're dealing with "officials" like bank people. Some of my mom's generation are kind of afraid of authority figures anyway. I'm just happy I'm not alone in having these kinds of situations. It IS very stressful! I've also closed accounts and moved money to a credit union where it's easier to deal with them.
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Actually, I am my mum's POA and my name is not on any of her bank accounts. I took all the legal POA papers in from the lawyers office and I can sign anything for my mum, pay anything. I actually do not want my name on my mum's account because of income tax purposes, I don't want to pay taxes on her money if the account is in my name too.
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Wow!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS IMPORTANT STORY! There are probably many others out there in this same situation and haven't even thought about it and not encountered....yet!

Best if we can get our parents to add us to their account when the time comes; my mom refuses to do so; yet I'm her POA, and she keeps introducing me to the bank folks saying I have her POD so why do i need to be on the accounts. But there are always circumstances that occur where you would need to pay their bills or taxes and they might be out of it and not capable at the time.

Hopefully none of my moms money is in a trust; but who knows? I'll be sure to ask next time I go to bank with her.
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Rebecca.. congratulations for handling the bank the way you did regarding the account and poa matter. I had a similar type of poa problem with my mum's bank and I told them if they didn't stop harassing me I was going to close her account (and she has a healthy amount in her account) and open a new account for her at my bank. I've never had another problem.
Also, when you mentioned that you were surprised at how much they had saved, I have always said .. it's not how much money you make but what you do with it that counts! God bless them .. and I love the fact that your mum asked you in the car what she is suppose to say so she doesn't have to say it in front of them .. she sounds like a doll !!
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Banks will drive you crazy. The one my father had was so difficult when dealing with his estate. My mother and I went down to open an estate account for the money that had to be probated. We had all the paperwork we were told to bring. Then we were told we would have to have an EIN. That was upsetting, because it is so hard to get my mother out for official purposes. Her mind blanks out. Our lawyer tried to handle it, but he was told the same thing. So I got an EIN for the estate. Everything went smoothly, but for some reason the bank kept shredding the letters testamentary, so when something had to be done, they weren't able to proceed. I had to bring them two more copies of the paper while the account was open. It was a pleasure to close out the account six months later. Banks can make a stressful time even more so.
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Vent away, that's what we are here for! I can well imagine your frustration with the bank employees. Thank goodness you are a smart cookie and found ways to circumvent the BS. One night a few months ago, I had a particularly frustrating time with my elderly Uncle, and after I finally got home, I still felt like I had to scream or somehow let out my frustrations. It was one of those rare times when in my younger days, I wished I had a drinking buddy that I could go out with and really 'tie one on". None of my friends were available at that late hour, so I called my son who lives 10 minutes away, picked him up and we went out to the local bar. I had a generous glass of Merlot, played the juke box, got introduced to many of my son's friends as they mingled by (interesting to see them all grown up now), and actually relaxed and had a really good time! It ended up so funny because although I didn't really get drunk, I was feeling a little buzz, all smiles and a little silly. The funny part was that my son (25) was nervous about me driving 4 blocks back to my apt., and at first wanted me to promise I would call him as soon as I got home (yeah, like he ever honored that request from me when he was kid? - no way!) Finally he insisted on driving with me to make sure I got home OK and then he walked back to the bar. How the tables had turned!! I hope this gave you a good laugh and you feel a little better now.
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