My mom is 90 years old and in fair health. She lives alone in an independent living community. She can no longer drive or go shopping. I am her only child and have taken over most of her care. My question is when I do her shopping how is the best way of paying for her groceries, clothing, etc. My name is on her bank accounts and I have a POA. I don't want to get in trouble or have it look as though I am spending her money. Also she would like to give some money to her grandchildren while she is still alive and let them enjoy it?

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My parents no longer drive, thus I do all the errand running and grocery shopping... what my parents did was give me one of their credit cards, makes life so much easier. Otherwise using my credit card and my parents writing me checks or repaying me in cash can get confusing.. it's like running a bar tab :P

As for your mother giving money to her grandchildren, does your mother have enough in savings to get her through the next 5 to 10 years? If for some reason she needed a nursing home later down the line, could she afford to pay out of her own pocket? If yes, I think it is a wonderful idea to give money to the grandchildren now so she can see them enjoy it :)

If she can't afford to pay out of pocket for a nursing home, then Medicaid would be needed. Medicaid would look back 5 years to see how she spent her money... money gifts to you and/or the grandchildren would be noted and counted against her care.

I suggest you speak with an Elder Law attorney to see what is the best way of handling the gifts to the grandchildren.
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