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So Is this true, Can I use the money?

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You wrote that she told you that you "can use the money."  For what?  If it was her account, even though she's authorized you to use the account, that doesn't mean the funds are for your use.  I apologize if I misinterpreted your intention; I had the impression you were asking if you, personally, and for your use, could access the account.

And in my experience no one can "add" someone else to an account.  The added individual has to sign the account card at the bank.  It can't just be done, unless the bank has a smart phone app to accomplish it.  However, I recall signing joint account cards, but I don't recall if the bank employee had to witness the signatures; I believe he/she did.

And VegasLady addresses an important issue.
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Reply to GardenArtist
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By law, as her POA, you can only use the money for her needs and expenses.
For her care.
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Reply to Sendhelp
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If you have debts and creditors after you the joint account with her money could be attached for your problems. Fix this.
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Reply to vegaslady
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No, and you probably already knew that.

Holding power of attorney is a legal responsibility. You need to take that responsibility seriously, or you could find yourself in deep trouble as others have noted here.

Technically speaking, that account is now a joint account, and when Grandma dies that money is yours. If that was not her intent, then ethically you need to do hand it over as part of the estate. Legally, you don't, but if you understand her intentions, there should be no confusion.

My parents made me POA and put me on their checking account in order for me to pay their bills if they became incapacitated. I fully understood this money was theirs, not mine, and for seven years I haven't taken a dime out of it for myself. Now they're both gone, and once the final bills are paid for the estate, the remainder will be split 50/50 with my brother. That's the right thing to do.
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Reply to MJ1929
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As her POA you are a legal fiduciary and that is governed by state statutes.

You would be wise to go to your state statutes and read up what it says about your legal duties to your grandma. Because most states specifically state that a POA can do NOTHING for personal gain. Using her money would be personal gain. Violation of these laws are prosecutable.

I recommend thanking grandma and leaving her money alone, she may need it for future care and if she needs public assistance then she could be denied because you took her money.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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rovana Nov 26, 2021
Wouldn't it be okay if as POA OP purchased supplies etc. for grandma's care? All monies used for her care?
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No. You should not co-mingle an account. This would make it very difficult if your grandmother ever needed medicaid assistance as any money coming from this account could be considered gifting, and in joint ownership of the account one half of the money is yours. You should be on the account only as her POA and any checks that you sign should be signed by her name followed by your name as POA. For instance "Grandma Nanna by Granddaughter Anne POA". You, as POA are a fiduciary legally liable under the law to follow laws regarding acting as POA. One of those laws is that you may not enrich yourself. Another is that your are responsible to act FOR your grandmother as she requests (if competent) or in your grandmothers behalf and in her best interests (if she is incompetent).You are responsible if she cannot to pay her bills, and etc. You must keep meticulous records of every cent into Grandma's accounts monthly and every cent out.
If you are uncertain of your duties it is time to go to an attorney, Elder Law, to find out what they are. Your grandmother's money pays for this attorney.
You may not use your grandmother's money.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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Yes, but for obvious ethical reasons, that money should only be spent on her living and care. We have a joint bank account with my MIL. As she no longer knows how to withdraw cash, we withdraw it for her (she likes to think she pays for things - we take her money and then put it right back in her purse when she’s not looking - saves us on trips to the bank). It’s also the money we use to pay her PSW’s.
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Reply to Lizbitty
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