How to handle finaces of an elder loved one?

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My mother has dementia and is having difficulty paying her bills.

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I was on my Moms bank account and her POA. Since her SS check was direct deposit I never asked to be payee.
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I was doing my grandma's bills and finances and she already had dementia. There is a POA in place for me but I also had to apply to the social security office to be her rep so I could really truly take care of everything including her social security check. She has a bank account that is in my name but her social that is called a Rep account and everything goes in and out via debit card or automatic transfers. I keep track with an excel sheet listing where I spent her money and why. It's helpful when the social security report comes through once a year and requires you list off where you spent her money. I just add on a report that lists what she had going on each month and where her money went (Such as when she needed a hospital bed and medicare wouldn't cover it since she had already gotten a lift chair and when she broke her finger and needed wraps and splints that worked for her instead of the pullable kind offered by the hospital. During UTI's she needs extra pants, puppy pads for the floor, cleaners to keep the urine smell out of tiles etc. After rehab she needed new clothing as they lost so many of her clothes and what was returned was ripped and faded. I just kept a little note on the excel about those things so I would know if asked and I could add it.

To help her legally, you have to a POA in place that lists your ability to do finances and if she gets to the point of where she truly cannot do her finances and can no longer sign her name and if she gets paid by the government then social security will need to label you as a rep so you can have a proper bank account.
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ligiamilatt, not quite sure what you are asking, please clarify. Are you saying that Mom no longer has money to pay her bills? Or that she needs someone to help her write out her checks with the money she has when the bills comes into the house?
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A couple of questions...

Do you have a financial power of attorney?

Is your mother willing to allow you to help at this time, POA or not?

If there is no POA, how far into dementia is your mother? Is she still competent to execute a POA? If it's too late for the POA, you may want to talk to someone as to guardianship/conservatorship. There will come a point that you won't be able to take care of financial matters without either a POA or conservatorship.

I was lucky in that my mother-in-law simply asked for help, and then she just turned it all over to me. I got everything caught up, then knowing what was coming, she executed a new POA with me as one of the POAs (her old one didn't list me, and her son and her brother had no interest in handling things, and they still don't!)

But I know others here have family members who believe they are still able to handle things, and things can get far more complicated.

If you feel like sharing a bit more about your situation, I'm sure more pointed ideas will be passed along.

Best wishes.
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