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Many bills. I am taking over as much as he will allow and am not sure where and how to start. Dad has created many bills. Doctors, Electric (went unpaid to balance of $5,000, taxes, etc. I have asked him to formulate a list for me he has not in nearly a year. I am afraid he will jeopardize his income. I have come in and set up payments on some that I was aware of. How and where do I start. I am sure I am going to have other questions. Thank you.

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p.s. Sorry about my wordiness…The best place to start is where you are. Take it one step at a time: cleaning up one 'mess' at a time without expecting him to make it easier for you by providing account info (because it doesn't look like he's going to). Put on your best private detective persona and keep moving. It's for his protection and your sanity. Good luck!
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Depends on if Dad will allow or if he has dementia, etc.--diagnosed. You could have his mail transferred to you for about two months. This will help you at least get a handle on all the bills, accounts, financial investments, etc he might have and then you can copy or write down account numbers, etc. you can then give dad back originals. Consider setting up an online bill pay linked to his checking. Go with dad to the bank and make sure he has overdraft protection linked to his savings. Set up automa deposits of monthly income checks, dividends, etc.

Find out who he has insurance, medical insurance, car, house, life, etc and have those set up on autopsy.

It's tough. He may fight you on "being in his business", but letting insurance, taxes, medical insurance, etc can be very serious and a mess for you to have to reset abolish with stiff penalties.

I had to do above with my mom.

I set up her online acct which she doesn't comprehend, but it allows me to monitor her spending, make sure bills and taxes are paid, etc. we also have a long term relationship with her tax preparer so if something is missing or they need something, they call me and let me know so I can track it down.

I still don't know all of my mothers financial info (she is secretive and their are some accts I have no knowledge of) but I have enough to make sure her bills and taxes are covered.

It's always great if dad will link you to some of his accounts by signing a paper at the bank, etc. but this isn't always the case.

Good luck.
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Most utilities have a service you can sign up for where someone is notified if your utility bill isn't being paid in a timely fashion.
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I have taken over handling my sister's bills.She has alzhiemers .She thinks she can just use her debit card & like magic has money .
we both went to the bank when she first showed early stages of this disease & I am joint with her account as well as power of attorney . Her bills are set up at the end of the month for attamatic withdrawal -- Heat, electricity , phone TV. & had the bank open a savings account for her taxes, She Basicly has very little left to live on.Her neti our feeds her her three meals a day in which Out of my sisters account we pay $ 100.00 a month.This is how I handled the finances.
P.s she has i law - outlaw relatives that think she has money & have drained her savings.They no longer phone or visit since I have taken over.😊
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Aphena, I had the same issue with my Dad about going to an attorney. Dad said I will get most of the estate once he and Mom pass on. It wasn't until I told him that the State will get a large chunk of his estate via taxes that it finally got his full time and attention. So far he and Mom have seen an Elder Law attorney, at least it's a start. I just hope both live long enough to sign the new Trust, POA's and Will as he's dragging his feet with the homework he needs to do :P
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Start by doing an online credit check.The amended Fair Credit Reporting Act permits consumers to request a free copy of their credit report once every 12 months from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (i.e., Equifax, Experian, Trans Union). That should give you a good list.
If it is really bad, consider Guardianship.
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Good Lord not sure if I should go into detail here. He began today on his "to do" list. He did not ask the questions I instructed him to ask. I had to take care of the call. I get LECTURED from the insurance rep even after I explained he is having mental difficulties. She was mad he was not responding.
So from what you are all saying pull his credit report which will help on his bills reported. Thank you and I am thinking I should have thought of it. I need to work on the current bills as well.
Any ideas on how to handle him creating NEW ones? He did agree to give me POA but he hasn't acted on it. I am thinking safe bet is to see an attorney mutually.
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Aphena, Let me tell you my story & you can take what you need from it. I knew my dad was living on social security but I did not realize how bad things were until he started calling me & asking me for money. In October of 2013 he asked for $600. I heard through the family grape-vine that he gave that money to a deadbeat relative. Then he called at the beginning of December asking for another $500. I asked him if he would like it if I took over his finances for him. He said yes. So we made plans for me to go to Tennessee (from Chicago). In the mean time I made an appointment with legal aid to draw up DPOA & HCPOA. I also had him help me pull his credit report (I did not know the answers to the security questions).

I was appalled when I saw the credit report. Unbeknownst to me, he had filed bankruptcy in 2006. He currently had $21,000+ in credit card debt and he was trying to file bankruptcy again but could not until August of 2014.

When I got to Tennessee the first stop was legal aid for the DPOA & HCPOA. The second stop was at the bank. We closed out his old checking account (too many auto-debits bouncing) and opened a new one. Banker called Social Security while we were there to have his social security direct deposited into the new checking account.

The banker made a copy of the DPOA & printed out 3 months worth of checking account statements. Every month there were HUNDREDS of dollars in bounced transactions, payday loan auto-debits, bounced mortgage auto-debits, bounced insurance premiums, and debit transactions at convenience stores for $150+!

I had to pay off the $600+ overdraft protection loan to close the old checking account. Then I had to deposit $100 in the new joint checking account. Dad does not have access to the new joint checking account.

The third thing I had to do was go to the payday loan store to pay off the $350 he owed them (491% interest) so they would not try to auto-debit the old checking account.

I had my dad pack up all the bills in a shopping bag & I took them home with me to try & figure out what to do. The first thing I did was contact the utilities to find out what the balances on the accounts were. Phone & cable were several months in arrears. Electric & water were current b/c in TN if they are not paid on time they are immediately discontinued. Medical insurance premiums were several months in arrears. Car insurance was being paid 30 days late. (My dad had his medical insurance premiums being auto-debited because he was saving $24/yr. But one bounced payment was $25, so where was the savings?)

I began to pay the bills in this order - utilities, insurance premiums, medical bills. The mortgage is whole 'nother story. I eventually found out that he was $1200 in arrears on the mortgage. I contacted the mortgage company & they were able to modify the mortgage so he did not have to come up with $1200. That was a real life saver for my dad.

The credit cards were a whole second 'nother story. From the credit report I got the names & addresses of all my dad's creditors. I wrote each of them a letter saying that my father was old, sick & no longer made his own decisions. He had no assets & his only income was social security & they should go away & leave him alone. Then I sent them registered mail, return receipt. Pretty much all the companies left him alone. Except for Discover.

Discover sued him. I contacted legal aid & they took the case. It has been continued until March 2014. Legal aid is trying to get Discover to drop the case.

So to wrap up this long story. Dad's mortgage, utilities, insurance premiums & medical bills are all current & paid. Credit issuers have gone away. I have been paying everything on-line but now I finally feel confident enough to start going back to the autopay.
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Aphena - I think at this point just ask your dad if he would like for you to take care of it for him. If you make phone calls while he is there he can give permission over the phone for them to discuss his account with you. I don't think he can handle a "to do list".
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Be careful of guardianship appointments. They are rife with additional obligations and responsibilities you really don't need now. A good "Durable Power of Attorney" should suffice. You want to avoid personal liability for his debts at all costs. A DPOA will make you able to take care of his finances but not liable for them.
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