Is a POA liable for a debt? - AgingCare.com

Is a POA liable for a debt?

Follow
Share

My brother and sister are financial POA's for our mother who has Alzheimer's and is in a home. My brother only has access to one of her accounts which has a very small amount of money in it. My sister is the ONLY person who has access to the account that my mother's bills are paid from, including her care home fees. My brother has received a call this morning saying there is a large outstanding bill due for her care home fees and if its not paid in 7 days they will start legal action. My brother is very concerned that this debt will be applied to him, can anyone help?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
13

Answers

Show:
First don't panic & that is what it sounds like you're doing -
1 - check that mistake is not on NH end -
2 - check with sis as to what status is - she could have been sick or forgot to transfer money -
3 - let them go to collection agency or whatever - this will take weeks if not months to sort out - gives you time
4 - what is worse that could happen? - mom may need to be in a shared room or other 
5 - don't chase your tail until you know ALL THE FACTS

Stop thinking the sky is falling - take a few deep breathes then make a game plan & proceed with it - have a family meeting with all cards on the table - check with the powers that be what are your options - most often your wild speculations are not founded in fact so get your facts straight first & foremost
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Any bills owed by the elder come out of her funds, regardless of who is POA.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Lizzy, I'm so sorry to learn of your losses, so close together. That must be so difficult.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am the POA for both of my parents. dad died three weeks ago and mom this morning, heartbreaking. my husband and I went to the lawyers office and discussed all of this and was told we my husband and I are not responsible for my parents bills. we do not have to pay them. we use the money that my parents have to pay the bills they have, retirement, social security etc. and when they run out we are not obligated to pay the rest. I would contact the people that they say you must pay and speak to them directly...good luck
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Fryn, if you're still out there and checking in periodically, I'd appreciate knowing how this is resolved. I didn't see your message when it was first posted, but thought you got good answers, and hopefully have resolved the issue and gotten to the bottom of the issue.

The fact that he got a call before a written notice from the facility makes me suspect as well that it was a prank or phishing call from a fake who's trying to intimidate someone into paying funds.

I've gotten calls from a scammer pretending to be with the IRS, advising that legal action will be taken and I'll be incarcerated (and other such nonsense) if I don't call this jerk back and pay up. The guy doesn't even understand what the correct terminology is or how an IRS debt would be handled - it's such an obvious scam.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

The POA is not liable for the bills. The POA is responsible for making sure mom's bills are paid with mom's money.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Add to RayLinStephens answer : Clark Howard

clark.com
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Bill Collectors. And once your brother pays, then it would be his responsibility.

Howard Clark explains it all on his free website. Bill Collectors come out of the cracks and scare people - but hang tight, it really is 99% scare tactics.

If really concerned, ask an Elder Attorney or Legal Aid.

When my mother passed, we were getting bills from "the hospital" - so I called the hospital and they never sent the bills.  It was good that I never paid.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Isabelsdaughter, don't worry about the elderly lady in this case - there is not the remotest possibility that a vulnerable resident would be evicted from a care home if she's there under the direction of social services. Least of this family's worries :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Fryn, I hope you're still checking in here?

Is there any difficulty getting hold of your sister?
When was your mother admitted to her care home?
What was the amount outstanding, and how many months'/weeks' care does it represent?
By Adult Services, do you mean somebody from your mother's Local Authority? It is quite unusual nowadays for care homes to be under the direct management of social services, so I think this wants clarification.

Your brother should contact the manager of the home direct, and ask who is responsible for their billing and credit control functions. Those are the people he needs to speak to to get this sorted out.

But no, he is not personally liable for the debt.

My optimistic guess would be that there is a communication problem and for some reason invoices have not been reaching your sister, or she hasn't set up the right payment process so that payments haven't been reaching the care home. If your mother's been there for, say, less than three months that would be my guess; and it should be comparatively straightforward to put this problem to bed.

But please do come back to us if your brother hasn't got it sorted. Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions