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I was told that to handle IRS documents for my mom I should fill out form 2848. But, I see that it just authorizes an accountant to do so. What about the forms I am filling out on her behalf to hire a caregiver...Employer Identification number, etc. and filing taxes for the employee, etc. I can't see how this form helps me to do that. Is there another form I should use? I have a financial POA, but have heard it is not enough for the IRS and they have their own form.

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That would be me also as well. I am also the executor of the mom's estate and the person who is named to follow her advanced health directives. Like I mentioned earlier my mother had everything put n order.
The one thing that I can not find out is I remember her sitting all of us children down and telling us that she and Dad had all of their funereal arrangement taken care of also. I know that they have a double burial plot where Dad is but she said that everything was pre-paid and I can not find any paperwork to show me the information. Think that we lost the pre-paid funeral deal when the funeral home was sold from a private family owned business to a corporate owned one. However the family business funeral home re-opened a few years later under the same name but they tell me there is no record. Same with the cemetery, I remember that was pre-paid also, but they say no also. Guess that the paperwork is hidden wherever she "hid" her sterling silver and chest and her "little gray box" that had all of her personal/family records in.
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BLS, assuming the house was transferred via deed to the family trust, it's now an asset of that trust and theoretically is "owned" by the trust.

Who was named as trustee of that family trust? There's likely a successor trustee identified, so if your mother was trustee, the successor trustee would handle the trust assets after her passing.
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Yes, it is in a family trust. Technically/legally I do not know if she is considered the owner anymore since it has been determined that she is not mentally competent. VA allows the family to keep the house and does not consider it her asset Medicaid would consider it her asset. We are paying the property taxes on it and will be reimbursed when the house is sold after she passes away.
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So does your mom still have the house?
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Mom went back to work in 1980 after not working since 1953 because my father went on SSI in 1980. She paid off the house and worked until she was 70. Mom originally inherited a little over $120,000 in the late 90's. She spent some of the money on fixing up the house, and bought an inexpensive car and the rest of the money she bought tax deferred annuities, some stock, CDs, and multiple small life insurance policies. She also put the her house into a family trust, meaning that the VA does not count it as her asset but Medicad would if we ever applied for it. She traveled outside of the country multiple times and managed to be able to withdraw cash out of her investments or cashed in matured CDs to supplement her SS check. Fast forward to 2012....Mom was no longer traveling and she was down to having a large annuity left which Mom/I were talked into by her financial planner to split into 2 separate accounts (big mistake) She did make a lot of money from that first annuity and almost had most of the original principal. As her POA I have had to cash in all of her investments to pay for her private home Assisted Living/Alzheimer care home. My mom is 87 and I can see that her health is going down. I think that there will be enough money to keep her living where she is since it is an "age in place" care home.
If you have money that needs to be put into tax deferred investments you need to go to a financial planner. There is a well known guy on the radio on Saturday afternoons that advises that people go to a planner that charges a fee for services rather than a % of your investment annually. Hope this answers your question.
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bls, guess my question was really that she stipulated that it had to be 2 drs., rather than just one, before the POA would be invoked, just wondering what her reasoning was for that
but, on the other note, do you mind telling a little about what she did with her money, because I have that situation and wanting to do the same thing
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Yes, my mom specifacally had it written in the paperwork that if 2 Drs wrote letters saying that she was incompetent then I would become her POA. This was due to save the family from getting court ordered guardianship established. She had attended an estate planning seminar way back in 2001 and had everything taken care of. My dad had passed away in 1997 and mom was still working until 2001. She had inherited some money from a relative and knew that she had to protect it and make it grow for her use in her old age. Most of monies saved during their marraige went to pay for parkinson medicine that they paid for on their own.
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After my FIL died, one of the people who came to his funeral was his accountant--a frazzled, depressed guy if ever I saw one. He was not very upset over our loss, but VERY upset b/c my FIL hadn't filed his taxes that year! I calmed HIM down and said I'd have the pertinent forms in his office within a week. (Regretted that comment the moment I actually looked in dad's office...he'd lived 14 years in his condo, there were 14 "towers" of paperwork....I just went through the last two, got the papers the acct needed and all returned checks (dad ran a little side business as a travel guide) and took all this mess to the acct. End result? He owed about $200 in taxes and the case was closed. Dad has been gone 12 years and I have long since destroyed all the "back taxes" files.
It can be scary and frustrating, but be aware that you are not likely to get audited, and often and "audit" is simply the IRS needing a small piece of information. You just fill out your forms and forget about it.
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was your mom saying that 2 drs. had to say she wasn't capable of living alone in order for her POA to be valid?
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Yeah I wanted to cover everything. I included the Drs letters that were needed in order for me to become POA? Mom had stipulated that 2 Drs had to say that she was not capable to 1 live alone, nor handle her finances. The pages that said that if I didn't not want to be POA anymore then my sister would take over. I also included the signature page containing the signatures of lawyer, witnesses, mom's signature, and the notary stamp. I did not want to have the IRS balk that something was missing.
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6 pages of POA?! wow
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I filled out the form 2848 and on the back of the page I sited reason family member, daughter. I also included 6 pages of my POA paperwork showing that I am the POA. I also indicated that I want the POA to remain in place until 2020 and back to 2012. All of this can be faxed to them. By phone I was given a 30 day extension n the due date that they gave me to file back tax forms.
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they directed me to them when I called
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In my area the local senior center sets up days where if you call for an appointment you will get tax help for free. They start making appointments on Feb 1. They have trained AARP people, senior center volunteers, and an IRS person there to help.
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You can contact your local commission on aging and they have resources available to help
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I have a POA for my husband, I thank all that is holy that we executed the documents and wills a year before he was diagnosed with LBD. The POA allowed me to set up a Payee account for his social security so I can direct it to his expenses and separate our financial lives. Separate financial lives gives you opportunity to apply for some needs based support as they only look at his income and not mine.
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After working in a tax office for many years i can tell you that calling the IRS is not a scary thing, they are there to help. A simple call to 1-800-829-1040 will give you answers. Many clients filed taxes on behalf of parents, very common. Just ask the rep your questions and you mind will be at ease. If you need help pop into an H&R Block office ask to speak with an enrolled agent. They are very helpful and will even call the IRS with you. Just dont worry you will be fine.
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Sorry vegaslady, I did not mean to upset you.
jenlwren, maybe you need an attorney, sorry.
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Read the frickin form before you panic. What kind of advice are you giving to have the IRS come out and view the family's demented one? Get real. The IRS doesn't have the staffing to answer all the calls, much less come visit over something like this. I'm retired from the IRS and when I came out to your house you were looking at some enforfed collection of unpaid taxes.
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Jen, I think IRS forms as well as the organization itself sends many a human soul into despair and anxiety, if not worse. You're not alone.

One interesting analogy I love to quote is from Robert Sapolsky's "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers", in which this somewhat eccentric but I think brilliant neuro
biologist compares mammals of the animal vs. human varieties.

In his analysis, he addresses situations when the fight or flight syndrome activates, comparing how stress is handled in animals vs. humans. His examples are humorous, an interesting counterpart to some of the more esoteric neurological observations he makes.

He discusses an anology of stress faced by zebras - they're happily munching away on grass or whatever it is they eat, when a group of lions surrounds them and gives chase. Some may outrun the lions; others may not. For the former, after the chase is over, they can return to their munching. For the latter, well, it's not quite so peaceful but is soon over.

Not so with humans. We have to worry about how to pay for mortgages, college, deal with the neighbors who may have "music" blasting through the night. We have toxic bosses; some people have toxic spouses. One doesn't just move to the next field to get away from them. Divorce is complex and sometimes just as toxic.

There are job interviews, ensuring our makeup and hair are as perfect as we can get them, our clothes are clean and don't have fuzzies from the cat sleeping on them. Will we give the right answers or accidentally say something we regret? Will we get another chance? If we don't get the job, how do we pay the bills?

Zebras don't have cable bill; they don't have utility or mortgage bills. They are their own vehicles and don't have to buy tires, antifreeze, or oil. Nor do they have insurance.

And then there's the IRS. Words cannot describe the fear it can create in humans.

So we humans have ongoing challenges and stresses, whereas the zebras' challenges are periodic. Hence, we develop ulcers, become stressed, perhaps overeat, may drink too much, become ill, develop other physical issues ...the "whole ball of wax" of stress responses, of which the IRS and government regulations (include Medicare and Medicaid) can be primary stress factors.

If we were zebras, we wouldn't have to deal with the IRS, but then we'd have to deal with lions...and other predators, and the stress would be of a different kind.

Anyway, I try to think of taxes and IRS forms as a mathematical puzzle - analyze the components, break them down, deal with the apparent inconsistencies (and that's often difficult because of the obtuse language that's used), and have plenty of your favorite refreshment available, whether it's chocolate, fruit, pop, or something in the liquid form but much stronger.
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The sight of an IRS form often sends me into despair and anxiety. GardenArtist, since you see a path and solution through this document I feel confident to tackle it again and - if I get stumped, I will follow your advice, pamstega, and call the IRS to ask for assistance. Grateful to you both!
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Perhaps the most thorough method of signing on her behalf is to have her execute a Durable POA. You say you have a financial POA; have you read it thoroughly to see if it does give you authorization to execute financial documents on her behalf? If so, that could authorize you to handle the tax aspect about which you inquire.

Just checked the 2848 and instructions. This might help. Download the instructions for completion of the form. (Sometimes you have to read the instructions very carefully to figure out how to use the form - it isn't always clear.

"Specific Instructions

Part I. Power of Attorney"

Line 1. Taxpayer Information" - Read the instructions for an individual.

in Part III, check F, which is for a "family member".

From looking at the instructions, it does specify how an individual family member can complete the form 2848 and use it for the purposes you state.

As to a POA, this is directly from the 2848 Instructions:

"The IRS will accept a power of attorney other than Form 2848 provided the document satisfies the requirements for a power of attorney. See Pub. 216, Conference and Practice Requirements, section 601.503(a). These alternative powers of attorney cannot, however, be recorded on the CAF unless you attach a completed Form 2848. See Line 4. Specific Use Not Recorded on CAF, later, for more information. You are not required to sign Form 2848 when you attach it to an alternative power of attorney that you have signed, but your representative must sign the form in Part II, Declaration of Representative. See Pub. 216, Conference and Practice Requirements, section 601.503(b)(2).
For more information, see Non-IRS powers of attorney under When Is a Power of Attorney Required? in Pub. 947."

Makes sense, right? You have to read it a few times to get the jist of it and work through the requirements. It's like completing a puzzle, or following one of those maze type puzzles where you wander through various paths until you find the correct on.

Here's the link to the Instructions in case you don't have them:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2848.pdf
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This where you should call the local IRS office and ask for help. They will want the original POA and proof that mom is unable to act on her own behalf. Letters from her MD's will help establish her limitations. Or you could invite them over to see for themselves.
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