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I am my Dad's POA and patient advocate. He is in assisted living and his mind is still sharp. I had to put him in assisted living because I can't take care of him anymore. He has accused me of yanking him out of his home, he asked me if the offer still stood to move in with me. I want someone to take over his financial matters so I don't get accused of stealing money.

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SallyB, My youngest brother passed away in Feb. at that time all of the documents were updated so my brothers share went to his wife.
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Perhaps you need an attorney. Idk.
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AKADAUGHTER - you are doing the best you can - if lazy bro can't get off his duff to see/visit/be involved with parents then he will have no standing - get his email address & swamp him with copies of the minutia of everything - if he never responds after making sure that's his email then he will have no leg to stand on later on - be sure to copy yourself ... I actually have my email with 'AA' in front so is first on list & easy to copy - good luck because nothing like a guilty conscience to make someone [particularly males] stand up & try to pretend to be stalLIONS when they are really dandiLIONS... lol - hugs in your future issues
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Farther on - I took over the mess mom made of her money - she had a discount broker - DO NOT USE THIS IF YOU ARE TAKING CARE OF OTHER'S MONEY - they give no feedback, no advice etc - I switched to a regular broker that I knew & in 47 months more than doubled mom's portfolio [goes to next generation not mine under her will] because I didn't think they were giving right support in a P.O.A. situation - the extra %age for transactions are worth knowing you are getting good advice & dealing with same person each time
The term 'penny wise & pound foolish' comes into play here - my children & my sister's children will be the ones who benefit [not me] so I live in hope they will take me out to dinner when the time comes [however not holding my breathe]
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I have been POA for my mother for almost 14 years, although I have only had to totally handle her finances for about 5.5 years. Before that, I mostly handled investments, which were a bit of a mess after my father died, and put funds into her checking account as needed. I have one sibling who has had no contact with my mother for many years, not even a phone call or a birthday card. I worry that my sibling will accuse me of mishandling my mother's money and possibly even sue me. Although I keep records, after several years it would be difficult to remember every detail. I have several years of tax returns, bank statements and credit card statements, but I admit that receipts for small purchases like clothing, sheets, Depends and other personal items are just piled in a shoebox. I spoke with my attorney about my concerns and he told me that my sibling would have a hard time finding an attorney to take his case since he has had no contact for several years; and that if he questioned me, I should invite him to sort through the box of receipts. Sure, I could spend hours every month keeping better records, but I prefer to spend my time visiting mom, doing crafts, gardening and playing with my grandchildren. Sometimes you need to find a balance that works for you and not try to please everyone.
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When I became POA, there was just me, assuming responsibility for Mom and Dad both. Mom had always been cared for, and had no ability to deal with bills and investments. My Dad, on occasion, would act as though he was unsure I knew what I was doing, so I offered to make up a monthly summary sheet, that showed, income coming in, what all the bills costs and what the balance was. I told him (thought it was a fiblet) that a copy had to go to lawyer monthly so he knew I was doing right by my parents. I said Dad could always call his lawyer if he had questions. Lawyer said to do it this way. Dad never called after getting a couple statements, he said he didn't need them anyway, and he was getting tired of reading stuff. After that, the only question that came regularly was, " Do we still have enough money?" " Does your mother have all the money she needs?" He didn't even remember to ask about any particular bills. MOM is the one who would call the lawyer and complain and ask if I was doing the right stuff. I soon learned to tell her that the yard man costs whatever she thought was reasonable....no matter what, because she literally was so cheap in her thinking, she thought everything I paid for was excessive. She thought for a minor thing like trimming bushes, I should get on the phone and check everyone in the yellow pages etc, to see who would do it the cheapest, and when I even gave her a real quote, she would be frantic with the notion that there had to be a way to get someone....family, a neighbor, anyone, to do it for less! So I would just finally say, well how much do you think is reasonable to pay for ex: " painting the outside of the house".....and she would say something totally stupid like ' Someone should be willing to do that for $500 total don't you think?" And I would just tell her I found someone and that's what they charged. She never asked for a bill and I never let her see receipts. But one time, she went to the bank and got them to give her a print out of the checking account statement, and went crazy at how much it cost to pay for Dad to pay where he was in Memory Care. I had to lug her around to other places and have them give tours and give her rates....I agreed to do three....and when she saw the deplorable conditions of some places for the same costs, she quit complaining about that. I also, whenever she complained about how we weren't getting our money's worth at his place because they didn't do everything like she thought it should be done....right down to the laundry and how the food was dished up and who ate first or last.....I would say, " Well Mom, we could hire caregivers around the clock and bring him back home with you, or you could decide how much you could do for him every day, but remember, there's showers, and bathroom, and medicines, and going to bed on time, and dressing and fixing all the food all the time. THAT ended those discussions too!! She didn't want to...and later in her own Alzheimer's, she really could not handle having responsibility for him around, even with caregivers helping out. I still keep the same monthly summaries of ins and outs, just in case anyone wants to think I was doing wrong though..... It will be helpful if Mom ends up having to go on Medicaid......I know that.....from helping with Dad's application process.
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If it has been more than a few years since your father prepared his estate planning docs, I would strongly suggest they be reviewed by an elder law attorney to make certain they can address any of a number of problems that may arise in the future. Particularly, you want to make certain the docs address issues of what happens if your father becomes incapacitated as you absolutely want to avoid the possibility of having a conservatorship which is very expensive and very intrusive. Many of the older docs prepared even by estate planning attorneys are incomplete in this regard. You can search for a local elder law attorney on the site of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
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I have the support of my siblings, 2 live out of state and one is here for 6 months and in Florida for 6 months. They know how my Dad can be and I think that is why none of them have stepped up to take him, when I have talked to them about the one accusation my Dad made about being yanked out of his house, they all agreed about having someone take over his finances. It's my Dad that I'm worried about making the accusations. He does have his own separate accounts and he already has a living trust, plus a will. I appreciate all of the ideas from everyone.
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You can hire a professional fiduciary as this is exactly what they do.
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I keep emaculate records. I document every detail on spreadsheets which I made up so that every check and spending was documented and keep for auditing. I am lucky, my brother has always said that he trusts me completely, but I want to be prepared in case there is ever a reason I need to account for every penny that I spend for my folks. I keep separate checkbooks, separate banks, spreadsheets, etc. This takes a lot of time every month but in the long run I feel it is work it.
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In California and probably other states, too - we have professional fiduciaries.
I have a revocable living trust - which provides for a PFAC (Professional Fiduciary Association of California) member (that I have chosen) to take over for me as trustee in the event I am incapacitated or deceased (care for my pets will continue for their lifetimes under the trust - this could also be used for a spouse or other dependent.) The fiduciary is licensed and bonded and must act according to the terms of the trust. (I have no family I would want in this capacity). If your father is of sound mind e can still make this trust - and it sure will save a lot of problems when his time comes (If you have relatives who would give you problems now - just wait until it's time to "get their share".)
With the trust and a professional fiduciary problem solved.
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nanabuffey, you protect yourself by asking the court to appoint you as the guardian of the estate (conservator) and the guardian of the person (ward) by court order. You are then supervised by the court and send in annual reports. If you are making an error, the court will tell you.
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do a web search for - association of daily money managers. Then use that site to look for someone in your area. They may or may not be less expensive than CPA. But you can interview a couple of each + determine what path to take.

You didn't say what type of help you needed. daily bill paying or lots of investments. If there are investments, then perhaps there is already a financial advisor. Where are those assets now? oldbob1936 has good advice for Vanguard vs advisor (2% fees).

Depending on what state you are in, and the assets, there may be licensed fiduciaries that handle estates (Calif has them).
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Hi NanaB. Your question reads like it's your father who is making accusations, not siblings. Remember that while your dad is still sharp, he is having to face harsh realities that could make the sharpest among us cantankerous. It may not be " others" opinions you are concerned about so much as your fathers criticism. Consider a therapist regardless of whether you receive outside support for your fathers finances. It's hard to go against our parents wishes. We naturally want to please them. When you are at peace within yourself, he will be at more peace himself and better able to accept this new chapter in his life. A little perspective helps you and him.
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Windyridge is right. Even if you hire someone to take care of stocks and bonds or other financial instruments. It does not need to be too complicated. Does your dad have a credit card? If so get a card on that account with your name so that you can make purchases for him. The monthly statement is excellent documentation. As you make each purchase write on the receipt exactly what was purchased if it is not already on the receipt. Keep the receipts and staple them to the credit card bill when it arrives.

Set up a financial journal. Just use a nice sized journal where you cannot tear out the pages. Write in columns, if it doesn't have the, to look like a checkbook. I know you already have a checkbook for his account(s) but in the journal you can write in details for each check if necessary and any explanation. The check to assisted living would need no explanation on a regular basis, but if 1 month your father needed something additional and the cost that month was higher, then you explain that in the journal. It is a bit of additional work but think it through, set up a few file folders, and all will be well.

Also, in my opinion, it wouldn't hurt to keep in touch with family members and when they ask about your dad (or bring it up yourself) say how he is doing and then anything you have done recently such as "his socks were getting pretty thin and there was an excellent sale at _______, so I bought him a dozen pair." By continuing this conversation you have a support system.

And remember to breathe. You are in this for the long haul. Been there - doing that.
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Have separate banks & send emails about anything unusual like buying hearing aids or appointments etc - I include date, dr's name, address, phone # so I have a record for myself too because I copy myself - my cousin did this so when my aunt passed away nobody could object to expenditures because they never said anything at the time -

When in doubt copy them - after a while of small boring emails they will be more aware of what you are doing too - I ask for visitation while I'm away of vacation but that rarely happens
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I would consider Vanguard brokerage the largest mutual fund company by far....the cost is 1/3 of one percent of his assets per year...(Many advisors charge 2% and steer clients into funds that add even more fees.) Tell them what he wants in terms of risk tolerance and forget about it....They have an impeccable reputation...
Grace + Peace,,

Bob
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I do agree with Don and Windy to some extent, however I think it is real important to bring in your siblings in the very beginning if possible. If they refuse to help then go with Don and Windy. In my personal experience, I did attempt to share the responsibilities in the beginning, but my brothers in law and sisters in law felt they didnt have to do anything. Their excuse, they all worked. It didnt matter I was disabled. No wonder I am hospitalized every year for the last 10 years for some sickness from pneumonia to pulmonary embolism to hepatitis etc.... all from care giver burn out I believe, from no support for a seriously ill medically intensive man now with severe dementia. My point is that no one knows how long they will live and your dad could be here a couple more decades. The stress from doing all his financial responsibilities can add up over time and that doesnt include stress from doctors appointments, pharmacy phone calls, insurance phone calls, medical decisions, ER visits, etc..... prepare yourself for the long haul.
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Windyride has the correct answer. Keep copies of all bills paid and make notes on statements when you transfer money. No need to hire cpa in my opinion
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You may be accused of stealing no matter who handles the money. The simplest solution is to keep copius records of all transactions involving your dads funds. Do not co mingle his money with yours in anyway.
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The previous poster is right. My experience has shown me that if you are worried about being accused of stealing then your fears are probably real and most likely if you hire someone, as with my best friend, then the family with blame you for hiring someone. It is best, to do your absolute best to not care what anyone says. I learned years ago doing a lot of volunteer work and I found the same with care giving, "10% of the people do 90% of the work and the 90% that do little or nothing complain about the 10% do." Do your best to have your siblings come together to make the decisions, but in most families most of the work in dumped on one person. I am lucky on my fathers side. All my aunts and uncles came together for my grandmother when she had dementia for 10 years at home and now they work together as a well oil machine for my grandfather who is 97 and still at home. They all share in the responsibilities and when they have to pay for part time help or bills it comes out of the estate. According to my father in laws doctor, which I have become close to caring for my father in law for 9 years since his first stroke, my family is the exception to the rule. She told me most families leave most of the work for one person. Best wishes in whatever you do.
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One suggestion would be to hire a CPA to either handle all the financial matters including bill paying, or to just handle stocks/bonds/large accounts. Then that way if you need to transfer money from a large account over to your father's checking account to pay a bill, it would need to go through the CPA. Of course, there will be a fee for this, and that would come out of your Dad's funds.
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