How do you know when is the right time to take total control of your father's finances and give him an allowance?

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I recently went through this experience. My dad called in 2012. He needed $1500 for dental work & another $500 just because. I paid the credit card bill & sent him $500. In October 2013 he asked me for $600. He said he had gotten behind on the bills when his wife was in hospital. I sent it to him. I later found out he gave that money to one of his wife's relatives. When he called in December he asked for $500. I asked him if he would like me to take over paying his bills for him. He said yes. I sent him the $500. I also went down to Tennessee the next week. (If he would have said no I would not have given him any money.)

As it was I got down there in the nick of time. He was months behind on the mortgage payment, all the utilities, all the insurance premiums, he had a pay day loan from every pay day loan store in Crossville, TN. (7 loans), he had outstanding medical bills, and he had $21,000+ of credit card debt!

The first thing I did was go to legal aid with my dad & get DPOA. Then we went to the police station to file identy theft report. I truly thought my dad had been a victum of identy theft. The next day we went to the bank & closed the old checking account & opened a joint accouont. The bank officer called SS & had his check transferred to the new account. I had to stop all the auto-debits. I contacted all the utilities & insurance companies to let them know I was taking over paying my dad's bills. I had to fax copy of POA to a number of places. I was able to bring him current on his utilities & insurance premiums & we have gone through mortgage modification.

There was also emergency car repair & emergency pumping of septic.

Right now everything is OK. Please, Lord, no more emergencies for a while!
Oh, as far as the $21,000+ of credit card bills? I contacted all the credit card companies & told them my dad was old & sick & no longer made his own decisions. I told them he had no property or assets & his only income was from SS. I also told them that he was not going to pay his debt & they were not to contact him, his family, or his friends. So far there are still two places that keep calling him.
IMHO - don't give money unless parent lets you take over the finances. Then contact everyone & notify them of you POA & have bills sent to you.

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