My 89-year-old dad (with Parkinson's) is living with my 86-year-old stepmother (with cancer, but actually doing relatively ok); they've been married 15 years. Here's the basic info:
- They live on Cape Cod. I'm in Detroit; the other kids are in Seattle, Baltimore, Princeton, and LA.
- They have a joint checking account (each deposits $2500/mo) to cover joint expenses (eg, cable, garden, dog, food) and a joint credit card, but otherwise keep their finances separate (and have a pre-nup). I have automoated gas, electric, landline, cellphone, and cable monthly payments out of this account.
- My name is on my dad's personal checking and savings account, so I can see where his money is (or isn't going).
- My dad neglected/forgot to file income taxes in 2012--we found out this past summer. We worked with his accountant to get both 2012 and 2013 filed, but he still has not paid either $5K bill--and has at least two nasty letters from the IRS at home. He has promised to call on Monday to pay (even though he told me two weeks ago he had already paid).
- I've set up automatic deductions for his longterm care insurance premiums (quarterly), Lifeline medicalert (monthly), a monthly $350 payment on his personal credit card. That leaves home insurance, property tax, and income tax for him to manage.
Today, he called and left a message and asked me to stop the automatic payments. I called, and, in addition to talking about the tax bill, I told him I found out a quarterly payment on his home insurance is due in about a week--unclear if he was aware of it or not, but says he will also address that on Monday.
I offered to pay someone to come in and help organize his papers, but he is refusing, and it's driving us--and my stepmother--crazy. She says he yells at her when she tries to help.
What can/should I do? The slight upside is that my dad isn't a frivolous spender, but it's causing a lot of stress on them at home (and I'm worried my stepmother might even walk about, although I'm not sure where she'd go).
Thanks in advance...