How can I get access to her funds to pay expenses?

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I do not have POA for my Mom who is incapacitated. I'm an only child and sole inheritor. She has a checking account with a US bank where pension payments are accumulating. She is an immigrant to the US and returned to Europe at retirement in 1990 to be with family and friends. I have her in a eldercare facility there where my cousins can look after her and am paying for 24/7 nursing care with my own funds. She is no longer capable of travel. The bills are high and without a POA I can't use her funds to help. The bank asked me to bring her to their office in a city which is a plane ride away - basically an undoable and ridiculous request - in order to have her request access for me.

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I am so sorry! This is a terrible predicament for you.

cmagnum is likely right. Filing for guardianship may be your only route. You shouldn't be paying these bills yourself when your mom has the money. Talk with an elder care attorney for guidance. He or she may be able to suggest other routes for you to follow. If not, you'll have some legal guidance for filing for guardianship.

Please keep us posed on how you are doing,
Carol
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Without a POA, your only option is to file for guardianship. It is really not fair for you to have to spend your own money for her to be in an elder care facility. It will be cheaper for you to get guardianship for her and be able to use her money for her care than to continue what you are doing. Guardianship will give you what you need for the present and the future, but it will not empower you to regain the money that you have already spent on her care out of your own pocket. I wish you well in dealing with all of this.
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Yes the bank will need to have the actual account holder in person, in one of their offices, in order to add you to her accounts. This is not ridiculous...think about it, they are preventing impersonations and identity theft. I am sorry your mom did not have the foresight to see the need for co-account signer, before she left. But only she can access her funds until she adds another co-owner.....if there is a USBank branch office near where she lives, she could do it there (I don't think they have one in EU near her). Chalk this one up to a valuable learning experience for yourself, and make sure you currently have a co-owner (whom you trust!) on your own accounts, especially if you will be going overseas for any length of time. The military walks all their active duty personnel thru all this before they deploy, in case they get incapacitated (or worse). Good luck with the Guardianship hearings.
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Well you can't file for Guardianship if she is in another country.
While the bank won't give you access, they should be able to pay the Nursing Home directly from her account. Ask your local consulate to help with that.
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