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If you haven't yet, you need to have whoever you are caring for sign bank forms (at the bank, or with a notary-ask at the bank how to accomplish this) to make you a signer on their account. You say you are POA, but do you mean 'Healthcare POA'? You must be a 'Financial (Durable) POA', best accomplished with a lawyer, preferably an eldercare attorney. Yes, forms can be downloaded from the net, but they may not be sufficient or correct for your state-HIRE a lawyer for this, doesn't cost too much and is important to get absolutely correct.

Now, with that Durable POA form in hand, if they have investments, you will need notarized forms making you a trustee. You must also get on any credit card accounts as an approved user/account manager; it's not as hard as it may seem--the card companies are usually pretty helpful)

Once you're on the account, you can write checks/make deposits/whatever is needed. Your name does not have to be on the check in order for you to be a signer.

Keep all receipts for everything; it doesn't have to be complicated, I just use cheap 9x12 envelopes for the major categories (1 for medical, 1 for insurance, 1 for mortgage/other loans, 1 for each credit card etc. and 1 catch-all for things like cash receipts from the drugstore or Walmart for sundry items). For anything I pay online, I keep a pdf of the receipt in a folder on my computer.

If you are able to use a budgeting program or a spreadsheet like Excel, you can easily keep track of everything once you invest the time to set it up. If not, a plain old notebook will do fine; just rule a few columns on lined paper that you can write in consistently (the year/month, then the item, who was paid for it, the amount, the account it came from meaning check/credit card/cash, and the date you paid it.

Having the one notebook will help you maintain sanity and control when little things go awry, and to provide a basis for paying their taxes!! don't forget that part. This is also your friend if siblings start to question your disbursement of funds. Even sibs who 'want' you to handle everything and are friendly now may prove to be pugnacious down the road...sorry but it happens. Your goal is to get the job done best you can, keeping the loved ones interests first always; it is a serious and fiduciary responsibility.

Visit your nearest Social Security office if possible--in person, they can guide you thru becoming your loved one's SS administrator and acting on their behalf. Call any insurance companies and explain your situation; they will mail you forms to add you as payer. Don't get overwhelmed; just make one call every day--once you get everything under your control, you will find your own rhythm to handle things. Try picking 2 days, 1 at either end of the month to review details and pay bills. Using online banking if you are able is a huge help.

Just step in, step up to the plate, and stop worrying. One day at a time, my friend.
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Nohealani, sorry not sure what is going on regarding paying bills.... are you asking about paying your own bills, or the bills for your Mom who is living in a nursing home [per your profile]? I assume it is the latter, correct?

Who is the "financial" Power of Attorney, or are all 3 of you the POA on equal terms, or is one person the primary, another secondary, another the third backup?

Is your Mom self-pay in the nursing home? Or is Medicaid [which is different from Medicare] paying for her care?

If Mom is self-pay then whomever is the financial Power of Attorney needs to have had a checking account with Mom names plus the POA's name, so that the POA can legally sign checks to pay Mom's nursing home and her bills. And if Mom has a house, to pay whatever costs are involved. Have all the bills sent to the POA's address.

Now, if Mom is on Medicaid, she will have very little money allotted to pay bills. And if there is a house, then you and the siblings would need to come up with the money for property taxes, utilities, etc. Later down the road, Medicaid will place a lien on the house so the equity will help pay for reimbursement of Medicaid's cost.

I know, getting older can become so very complicated :(
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