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My father was officially diagnosed with dementia last month and the doctor signed an incompetency letter. I am his only child/daughter (57 yrs old) and his POA. It's tax time and his wife (#3) says he wants to do his own taxes this year, even though I volunteered to do them. Some of the tax documents have come to my home and I took them over to him today. When I arrived, she was already gone for the day and he was sitting at the table paying a bill, well, trying to pay a bill. It took him about 15 minutes to figure out how to write the check and for how much. I showed him the tax documents and set them on the desk in their office. We then went to lunch with my daughter. We got to talking about taxes and I asked my dad about the documents I showed him earlier, of course he couldn't remember and then said he hasn't seen any tax documents. The wife is a tough cookie, but can't seem to say no to my dad. My dad has always been secretive about his finances, so I feel stuck. I KNOW he can't do them, she thinks he can or wants him to try and I am upset at the thought of him trying and being overwhelmed and then being late. Help. This wife is difficult at best.

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Thanks for the update. Oh the things we do to keep our parents out of trouble.
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Glad to hear!
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PNWGIRL, you rock! It's great to hear a success story. Thanks for posting the follow up.
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Follow up to all this.....The wife gave me all the documents, I did the taxes (I have done my own and our business taxes for years) and all is well. His taxes and done, paid and the check has cleared the bank. :D
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We have an appointment at the neurologist this coming Friday for further testing, which should give all of us a better idea of where he is at. I am going to use that time to talk to his wife about giving me all the documents. I am pretty sure if we don't bring it up, he will not think about it. I do think the idea of a dummy copy would be great for him to "work on". I have done my own taxes for years, and he has consolidated his financial set up, that I am pretty sure his taxes will be pretty easy for Turbo Tax and me :) Thanks everyone for your replies, it's so nice to have a community to bounce things off of.
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Can you take the tax stuff to your accountant, but give father a "dummy set" to play with? He may start playing, and then forget. But you haven't said no. Then take them to him to sign, or you sign as POA and give him a copy? As long as you don't actually say "no" he may play along.
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Set up a meeting with you, dad, and the accountant.
Tell dad the accountant wants to see everyone. Then let the accountant tell dad the plan.
This is the only thing that works with my parents who are impossible to deal with.
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I like the idea of an extension also. I don't think you should walk away as it will become a worse nightmare for you to clean up. Nor do I think you ate going to convince either of them to turn it over to you.

Use your POA, file for an extension, get copies of everything, take the whole mess to your tax person, let Dad piddle around if he wants and let him think he's all set. Just don't let him mail anything to the IRS.

This is essentially what I did when I realised that my Dads dementia was getting worse. He eventually got so frustrated with the paper work he asked Mom to call the tax lady they had used before. At that point the "Tax Lady" was all done due to my intervention. It was a little dicey but it worked.
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It gets sticky when the spouse and poa are not the same person.
In an ideal world, everyone holds hands and gets along.
In the real world, we get attorneys involved when we can't make headway with diplomacy.

My life approach is to try to understand the position of the person I'm trying to persuade. Why don't they want to agree? Maybe the wife is in denial to avoid losing her normal and can't see it's already gone. She some mileage to cover to get to the same place as you in understanding.

Worst case scenario, you can file for an extension to get more time for the taxes to be done.
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I already have POA..it went into affect when the doctor signed the letter of incompetence. I don't need a Guardianship.
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You do realize that he can't sign a POA if he is incompetent? Get Guardianship ASAP
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I definitely am going to hand it all over to the accountant my husband and I use. However, getting his wife to understand that he can't do the taxes and to give all the documents to me is going to be tough, now that I have left the folder there. :/ I did look for the tax documents she said had already come, but couldn't find them, and felt horribly guilty about looking. I know she doesn't want to do them, ugh. I don't like this wife at all...at first she wasn't very nice to my dad, but did it in a "sweet" way and I personally think she is a gold digger. Only thing is, now that the POA is signed, no beneficiaries can be changed and my dad never changed anything in to her name other than the bank account before his diagnosis.
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Ok, step back and try another angle. Give wifey examples of how a tax professional has saved people from costly errors. They can even go over prior returns and amend them if savings are found. Talk it up, and take yourself out of the picture.
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This will be my first year helping Dad with his taxes. But not one piece of financial paper will hit his desk as Dad tends to misplace important papers or he tosses them into the recycling bin. I now have everything that has to do with bill paying and with taxes. Thank goodness Dad has a CPA who does his taxes, but still there is a workbook to fill out.

Last year my parents thought they could do their own taxes, and I never realized it was becoming too difficult for my Dad to deal with it until half the 1099's were missing. Then and only then did I realize something was amiss. It was only late last year that I learned that my Dad would be putting current bills into the wastepaper basket or into the recycling. That's probably what happened to those 1099's.

Ah, I know all about the secretive thing with parent's finances. It wasn't until my Mom recently passed that I found out they had bank accounts scattered all over the place, last week I finally consolidated all these accounts into one bank that has user friendly website.

And my parents stock is also scattered everywhere instead of being under one stock broker because Dad didn't want his stock broker to know how much money he had :P In the ream of things, Dad is small potatoes compared to what other clients his broker may have.

PNWgirl58, any way you could hire a CPA or Tax Accountant to take over the filing of the taxes? It would be money well spent.
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This is time for you to be tough. Go back, get the tax documents, have the taxes done, pay for the professional service out of his account. Then keep a copy and take a copy over to their house and excitedly say....I have your taxes ready!! Smile and ask if they both would like to look them over. You are the hero...the taxes get done (correctly) and all is well. Would you really like to untangle the mess he would make of his taxes when he cant remember why or what he did. Save all that heartache and do it for them. Smile!
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