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Personally, I've had a couple bad experiences with automatic deductions so I no longer do it - haven't in years. The problem that came up was that I couldn't get the company(s) to stop the psyments long after I terminated the service. Numerous phone calls, letters, talking to my banks - in one case it took eight months to get the withdrawals to stop - then another few months to get the money refunded. Such a hassle!
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08/25/16.... Be careful when closing the bank account if there is an auto pay on that account.... make sure other arrangements are already set in stone for payment, otherwise the facility can charge a return check type fee. I learned that when I closed my parents bank accounts [they had bank accounts scattered everywhere] and opened new accounts at one bank... I didn't realize how many auto pays they had on the old accounts, had a few return check fees. Oops.

My Dad has Agency caregivers, and the only way payment can be made is through auto pay. Been doing this for a year now, have had zero problems. It is pulled from my own checking account, then I get reimbursement when I write a check from my Dad's checking account. Have to keep tight records.
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If you log onto the bank account and have them send a check to the AL facility you will have a nice record of payments. If you have them automatically deduct the amount from the account and you eventually want to change AL facilities you will not be able to unless you beg them to stop withdrawing money from the account. You can check this out with the bank. If they insist on automatic withdrawal you can have it put on a debit card. If you want to terminate the arrangement you will have to cancel the card or close the bank account (if it was taken directly from the bank). It is easier to cancel a debit card. Under NO circumstances should you let anyone withdraw directly from your account. If you put them on autopay from your bank the bank even pays for the stamp and the envelope and you have a nice record. Learned this the hard way with a compulsive spender relative.
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FF, with my mom's savings account earning .25% there is very little incentive to use it for pension deposits rather than her chequing account.
I agree that it is really whatever you are most comfortable with, it can be a pain to have to write and deliver cheques. You should get an itemized bill either way, and bank statements are always available if you need a physical record of expenditures.
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It depends on what way feels more comfortable, writing checks or having the money taken automatically from checking.

For me, I prefer to write a check. Either way, one has to make sure there are enough funds especially if there are other automatic payments such as secondary insurance and Rx.

Prior to my Dad going into Assisted Living and was still living at home, I had to keep a constant watch on his checking account as he and my late Mom had quite a few things that were automatic payment. I was constantly moving funds from savings to checking.
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Monthly written checks, that way you can keep track of what is being billed.
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