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We have separate accounts and credit cards because of this. He refuses to give me money for his share of the household expenses. The only thing we own jointly is our house. We have an equity loan and the bank has frozen it because of his low credit score. My credit is excellent and I still work.
I am 78 yrs old still work, paying all expenses and don't want to go down the tubes because of this. His diagnosis is "Mild Cognitive Disorder" We feel it is more than this because of the problems he is creating. My son has tried to help but his father won't speak to him now.

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My mom got involved with a self-admitted scammer on the telephone. Started out with 'you won a grand prize of $10,000' to 'you won a cruise/Cadillac/shopping spree', escalated to 50, YES, 50 calls a day. They talked for hours starting out, and when I answered the phone he just laughed and swore at me. Somehow, a shill working locally met my mother at a drugstore, who bought $400 worth of Visa credit cards off the rack, and gave them to 'some nice man'. She had a book of checks in her purse, one made out to 'cash' for $1000.....I grabbed those checks right quick!...The police were involved. The phone number was changed. The bank account was changed. It was a nightmare. Three years later she's in a nursing home and I'm STILL getting begging letters.....Do NOT start with the Publisher's Clearing House. That puts you on a sucker list, and you will get over 100 letters or more, from ALL OVER-begging letters, sweepstakes letters, offers for extra insurance, save the whales, save the horses, save the children....
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My SIL's mother got hooked on sweepstakes. She sent in $$$$ to these sweepstakes "opportunities" promising to get rich quick. She and her husband were elderly and when her husband found out she was addicted to sweepstakes, he had to take over the mail by getting a Post Office Box.
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You need to talk to your bank manager immediately and ensure that every transaction (check, money transfer) your husband wishes to make from now is not valid unless countersigned by you or your son. Create a new bank account funded with low amounts of cash if he insists on keeping a bank card to keep cash in his wallet, but seriously low balance, renewable by you monthly. Try to convert your joint account to a new account with your signature only, not just because you are working but to ensure that all necessary bills and overheads get paid.. Move to get a properly operating POA.
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My mother wrote checks to do-good organizations around the country - the world! - and dozens of checks to sweepstakes companies, to shysters, to psychics, to anyone wanting money (from a stack of over 100 letters she received, coming into her mailbox in a week). I, of course, volunteered to drop them off at the post office on my way home. In the car, I would sort them out, mail the one or two legit ones, and take the rest home to go through the shredder. Next week, repeat. it went on and on until her checkbook at home got 'lost', but by that time she could hardly write her own name anyhow.
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Thellmar, hopefully your husband has a will. If so, you will need to probate it first. Find out what debts he has incurred. Is there an insurance policy? Some companies, especially Unionized ones, continue policies after retirement. When you get all ur ducks in a row, call your local Office on Aging and ask if they have a financial councelor that can help u or put u in touch with one that will help u for free or a sliding scale. You may be able to make deals with some creditors.
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You are told "when you're sick, do not make any financial decisions! "
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I have same financial problems. Husband just died and I want to know same as you. Maybe someone knows. GOOD LUCK. thelmar
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I think u need a lawyer. Just because u have separate accounts does not mean its not marital debt that u will be responsible for.
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My heart goes out to you. I watched my ex-FIL do this, and my ex husband had to step in, bail them out twice, and the third time convinced his father that he needed to live with us. It was still a struggle to keep him from getting more and more credit cards and order all sorts of stuff, or run out and buy a new car (5 in 2 years). He would not sign a POA, and there were many heated arguments between my ex and his father as he tried to make him understand the financial burden that he was placing on all of us with his reckless behavior. Finally it got to where we only allowed him one card with a 500.00 limit per month, and while it made him angry it saved them some money so that they could afford the assisted living that they needed as his condition progressed.

At least my mother so far is not running up bills, but she can't balance her checkbook to save her life now, and it is a challenge to convince her to let me assist with writing checks as needed, so that she can get it done correctly.

I hope for your sake that you and your son can have the tough conversations needed with your husband to convince him to let you or your son take care of the finances, and limit his access to credit or the accounts.
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What I would do is call the credit card companies with whom he has a card and stop all of the credit cards. You can also stop paying the bills on those cards and put them on the back burner until you can afford to pay them off. Not paying the bills or not paying them in full will stop the cards at some point and they will become locked or in active. Another thing you can also do is speak with your bank and remove his name from the bank account in question. Put a small amount of money for him into a separate account. The alternative is to get yourself a new account and leave him on the old one and just move all of the money to the new account except for a small amount for him. That way, he'll have no access to your money and he won't be able to take you down financially. I'm not sure he even realizes what he's doing if he's mentally declined. Another idea is to not keep any cash at home or on you, just don't keep any cash. Normally I don't even carry cash and neither do many other people because most people do use plastic. What you can do is give him a prepaid debit card with a very small amount of money on it. I heard about this idea somewhere on this site and I think it's a good idea. That way, when he runs out of money on that card it will be declined if you have the bank set up the account to not overdraft. This is done by having them go into the account settings on opting out. This might take about a day or two to take take effect, and I wouldn't give him the prepaid debit card until then. The first place I would start is with the unnecessary accounts such as the regular credit cards but get so many people in financial trouble when they rack up a big bill. Again, just have every card stopped and don't pay any more on those cards until you can afford to. Stopping all of those cards is going to be key to preventing any more future debt. If he gets any more cards or reactivate the old ones, just keep stopping them. One final trip is to Google the words 'opt out'. You can opt out of everything and put your number on the national do not call registry.
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It is very important to get legal guidance on this.
And keep your good credit and accounts intact and separate from his, which it sounds like you have managed to do.
If you are in a joint-property State, owning the house in both your names, means the survivor inherits, will or not...depending on size of estate determines other factors like taxes, etc....but you'd also inherit liens and debts levied on the equity in the property, I've been told.
He also needs to have Doctors evaluate whatever the condition is.
Unfortunately, many will fail to do that.
You, as your spouse's Advocate, may need to practically serve the evaluation information to the Docs on a silver platter, then tell the Doc what is wanted. Even at very good multi-Doc clinics, the PCP might label it as "deep dementia" or "advanced Alzheimer's" or words which sound extremely severe....yet the Clinic's Neuro Doc will call it "Mild Cognitive Impairment"
....One client was being put through hellish wringers as her siblings used those two very different diagnoses, to manipulate their Mom's estate and care-- using the less severe DX to get her into care facilities at inappropriate lower levels of care, and using the severe DX to limit my client's access to the estate while the siblings manipulated the funds to their own advantage; they even had the estate lawyer in on it.
That his credit score is low, usually means he's been playing games with credit for awhile, or done at least one big whammy to his financials. But more likely, been doing things for awhile that are poor practice.
Q: Has your spouse had episodes during his life, of behaving like he's not exactly living in the real world, and spending money he doesn't really have while down his "rabbit hole"?
That would also need evaluated; that is usually not dementia, but more like mental issues, which could be related to things like depression, PTSD, bipolar. One client I have been working with a long time, does that. He's responded to medications, better dietary, etc., but it's an on-going battle to keep him grounded in the real world; so his spouse must keep her financials as separate as possible, and limit his access to handling money needed to pay bills and just take care of their needs for living.
An elder-estate lawyer and a Doc, should be able to help you...maybe other professionals too, to get this straightened out.
As the spouse, if you don't have DPOA yet, you should by the time things get straightened out; control of his financials might become your responsibility, or might be placed into a conservator's hands...depends on all the information informing the decisions.
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First try to get a clear picture of HIS finances. I know some married couples for various reasons never merged their financial lives and maintain separate accounts, credit cards, etc. If you own the house jointly then you would have had to sign the equity loan documents. Good that this is frozen. If he was pulling money from the HELOC, where was he parking it? His own bank account? Sever that connection. Then see if you can get his credit cards down to one. If he is paranoid he won't sign a DPOA but because your affairs are separate, there is no joint owner to sign on his accounts, so he really should name someone. If he refuses (or if he is not capable of naming someone), then you may have to go the conservatorship route, which is a court-appointed guardian of the property.

(BTW I don't understand the bank freezing the loan because of his low credit score. That's a reason for not granting it in the first place. Usually they freeze it because they are not receiving payments. You own the house too, get a statement from the bank for this loan. This is what could hurt you personally, because you are both liable for this. They don't care who pays it or who was supposed to pay it, they can go after both of you.)
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It sounds like to me that he has dementia. My advice to you is to have him see a neurologist and for you to see a lawyer. Hope your son is cooperative with you.
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It may be a blessing in disguise that the equity loan was frozen---your husband could have taken all the money out and you'd be in a load of debt.

You are in a tough spot. I think that you should try to take him to a specialist-----psychiatrist, neurologist---and have his cognitive skills evaluated. "Mild cognitive disorder" doesn't generally manifest itself like this, plus that is a cop-out diagnosis. What is the actual cause of the mild cognitive disorder? If he's been fine all his life and this is a drastic change, there must be a cause---you don't go from normal cognitive abilities to "mild" cognitive disorder for no reason. Even people with mild cognitive impairment know that bills must be paid, credit cards must be paid and that they must contribute to household expenses if they want to live there.

Maybe tell your husband that if he doesn't start contributing financially toward the expenses, you are going to rent out a room to bring in some money toward the expenses.
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That's supposed to say leg
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Yeah they can will answer the question you can't durable power of attorney however if other members of the family especially members on his side interfere please brace yourself for a battle scene attorney as soon as possible before you get sick with something and they say oh she cannot take care of this because she has a broken like
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A neurologist might be able to give a better diagnosis. I does sound like it is worse than MCI, but often the legal system can not or will not do anything until there is a diagnosis of dementia. This may take some time for the neurologist to go through all the testing, but it will be worth it in the end. There may even be some medications that help some with the condition or there may be something like normo-pressure hydrocephalus that can be corrected. I have read of people completely recovering cognition when a stent is placed to relieve the hydrocephaly. Get a recommendation to a really good neurologist first.
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Just start paying all of the bills.
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My husband who is late stage dementia, started out this way. His daughter came from out of state and convinced him to let me handle all the finances. He was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. We sat with him at the computer and learned all of the passwords and I took over. He was relieved because he was spending all week trying to juggle everything. He had us $18,000 in debt and it took me a year to pay everything off and we have a good income. Luckily I already had a durable power of attorney which is extremely important and which I needed over and over....even to get a handicapped tag for the car when I took him to his doctors, etc. I also needed it to take to the tax preparer, when he was admitted to a nursing facility for a fracture on his leg, and also for now when he was just admitted to an assisted living facility. You should see if you and your son can persuade him to do a durable power of attorney if you don't have one yet. We've had one for 17 years. Of course I voided the one that gave him power of attorney and will name someone else in his place for the future. Hope this helps!
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Elder Law attorneys are used to dealing with your situation. See one as soon as possible.
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I agree that this sounds like more than MCI. Do what you can to get him to his doctor. You can give the doctor's staff information prior to the appt. If the doctor says this is just old age, consider another doctor.
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You need a team of people to help you. Is your son willing to be totally supportive in helping you work out this problem? If so then you really should proceed with contacting an attorney who deals with Elder Law and the complications that can occur. Since POA's can be verbally rescinded you want to make sure you get the appropriate document for your state. Have you notified the mortgage company? make certain that you always have written down and even send a hard copy of any information that you feel is necessary...do not assume anything! Guardianship and conservatorship are expensive and a lawyer and a judge will have to talk with your husband and maybe you and your son. You do not need to go into financial ruin as a result of your husbands inability to manage money. After you get this in place you might want to consider giving him something that he can still do financially....even if it is limited and monitored. Good luck .
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Does he have a durable POA in place? I would recommend calling a Certified Elder Law Attorney to plan for the future with your husband. If he will do a Durable POA you can take charge of the finances. If he does not agree to do a POA then the attorney can work with you to pursue guardianship. Once you have the legal right you can work with the bank and credit card companies to limit his access to money.
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Sorry, pushed send. Provide doctors with details on how he's not able to manage money, and other evidence of impairment to assist in getting him care and you access to managing both of your affairs. Hope your son can help with some of this.
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So sorry that you have these burdens. You should see a lawyer about your options. I know that can be expensive, but you might need to consider guardianship or, possibly, divorce. I am a lawyer, but do not specialize in this area. Ask friends for a recommendation.

You'll likely need doctors to provide updated diagnosis as well, so you might need to provide them with
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In the long run, it will be cheaper to have the court appoint a conservator than to allow him to continue the financial implosion. Petition the court, ask the son to be the conservator and if you both agree, it should be over in one hearing.
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