Follow
Share

I would like an opinion as to whether it is safe to hire a senior assistant to take care of bills that are not on automatic payment. For a few bills, checks must be written such as those that are not regularly occurring. In the event a loved one cannot do that and a POA does not live locally, would this be safe if a person from a senior agency was vetted or is it likely a person would steal funds? My Aunt loved her aide of several years but after her death the family learned she had been stealing regularly by asking my Aunt to sign several checks.

No, it is not safe to have others try to pay your bills, including family.

Even if you do it wrong, you are the only one who cares enough about your own finances to do it right, or if errors occur, to make it right.

This is my experienced opinion.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sendhelp
Report

I'll post about it separately at some point but we hired a bank to do this. You'd think a bank would have all sorts of ways to ensure that it's safe right?
Instead the bank employee let Mom's health insurance lapse and Dad's life insurance lapse in just her first year doing it.
She blamed it on everything but herself.
Before I found out (last July) that she'd let those payments lapse, I asked her repeatedly to update me/us on what she was accomplishing. We'd gotten no statements from her or any other sort of update. So, she finally set up a mtg with us.
In the mtg., she made a lot of vague comments about how great her team is, but never told us what she or they had gotten done. Mom and Dad told her they want to sell the only other property they own, because the loan and the upkeep are draining their accounts. They told the banker this THREE times.
So, the banker then says she'd like to get them to refinance it instead, through her bank of course, and even admitted the rate would not be lower.
Who in the heck tries to get a couple in their mid-90's to sign a refi on a house??!!
It was clear to us that everything she was trying to accomplish was self-serving and she was getting mad that I was getting in her way. My parents fired her then she sued them, claiming she was doing it out of "concern" for them.
No matter if it's an individual or a corporation, the temptation to abuse the elderly is too great.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to CatbirdSeat
Report

I don't like the idea of someone strange paying bills. How many are there that someone needs to do this? I would make up an annual budget with dates for bills and how much, etc. I think someone "closer" with a vested interest should pay the bills. If you get someone to do this, have them send you all bills FOR REVIEW AND APPROVAL BEFORE THEY GET PAID. A log must be kept. And you get statement of all income and all outgoing checks.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Riley2166
Report

NO IT IS NOT!!!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Silverlining101
Report

Imho, my late mother used her town's COA staff to balance her checkbook. I wasn't residing at my mother's house AT THE TIME and I had to give the go ahead for this person to balance my mother's checkbook. As it turned out, this person was very much LESS than effective, even though her's was a volunteer position. When I arrived at my mother's to live with her out of absolute necessity, I took over her checkbook and was appalled to find out that the individual had been off to the tune of $659 FOR NINE MONTHS. My mother's response = "She'll get it balanced on month number ten." Of course, the unbalancer was done, IMO.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report
NeedHelpWithMom Apr 30, 2021
That’s interesting. I didn’t even know that they offer this service.
(0)
Report
A Geriatric Care Manager might be able to do this. (If this is all the person would do the cost might be a bit much for a GCM)
Is it possible to have the bills sent to you or who ever is POA? the bills could be mailed or emailed and the check could then either be written and mailed or an e-check sent from the account.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Grandma1954
Report

Sorry but the world we live in today there is no guarantee that you would not get robbed betta or not. I would go to social security. Or to dept of family (welfare) they have people who can pay your bills called payee. When I was ill social security bsent aperson to be my payee... She came by and picked up the bills and paid them. You may want to make other arrangements.
Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Sharon45caregiv
Report

I generally recommend not using the "auto-pay" for all bills.

In some cases, something might be no longer used but forgotten, and they will continue to bill/take the money! It can likely be okay to use for utilities, etc, but be careful about others, like subscriptions.

When mom passed, I was thinking about/working with ensuring everything was paid up, tallying everything, getting E-file for the will, etc, and forgot about the Sunday paper delivery (she was in MC, so I wouldn't see it myself and remember!) It was the funeral home interaction about posting the obit that reminded me! I contacted them about canceling and they actually provided a credit for the papers not delivered.

If you use auto-pay, use it sparingly is my recommendation.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to disgustedtoo
Report

Always monitor her checking account online and you will be able to see whats going in and out of her account.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to cinna60
Report

If mail cannot be forwarded to a responsible party and you hire someone locally, you should probably go through an agency that has vetted its employees.

You can hire someone independently if you can be sure of their honesty. I actually used to do exactly this job for several older people in the community where I lived. The people who hired me knew of me by word of mouth from others for whom I workd and trusted me to be honest, which I was, but I know there are many people who will do jobs like this in order to take advantage of the client.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to RedVanAnnie
Report

I have my uncle’s bills sent to me by email. I’m joint owner on his bank account so what bills I can I use bank automatic ‘bill pay’. The few irregular bills he has I use ‘bill pay’ manually.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Debambler
Report

Are you POA? Have Mom's bills all sent to you or hire a Licensed Fiduciary to handle her finances (about 90.00 an hour). I would not allow others access to Mom's accounts, if that's the question.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to AlvaDeer
Report

FWIW after my mother went into a nursing home (in PA), a lady who lived a few houses away helped with writing checks and paying bills (along with many other ways she helped, and all she wanted was reimbursement for any expenses incurred on my parents' behalf). Our family had known her for many years. This worked fine, and she was completely honest. I was living 500 miles away and visiting about once a month. Finally, it got to a point at which she had to give this up, and I retired and moved in with my parents. I see this lady and her husband about once a year, and I always make a point of thanking her for all she had done for us.

I am not suggesting that this is a good idea for others, but I'm just mentioning that, thankfully, there ARE some honest people out there. In our case, this was a recently-retired school teacher who, with her husband, was financially secure, and this was in a small village in which people knew each other.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to jacobsonbob
Report
jacobsonbob Apr 27, 2021
I forgot to mention that my father was still at home during this time, but needed some care, such as putting on a nitroglycerin patch.
(0)
Report
I have all my Mom's bills sent to my address.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to anereus
Report

I really think this is a slippery slope. My mom has dementia, my dad does not. My dad was always responsible for their financials. However getting on in age made him forgetful and he often struggled to understand his bills. I offered and he accepted. I now pay all of their bills and their bank statements and CRA letters etc are mailed to me. I would never trust a stranger to look after their accounts. They cannot afford to have someone take what belongs to them. Most bills can be paid automatically. Who looks after your bills? It doesn’t take much time to pay a few bills. If you can do it, I would suggest someone close to them look after this,
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to DIaneAL
Report

Our local Elder Services has a Money Management Program to assist people with paying bills and reconciling their account. I believe they meet with the Elder once a month and their is supervision through the agency.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to EllensOnly
Report

Where there is money involved, there's always a chance.

Whatever bills that can't be on Auto Bill Pay, just have them send the bills to you to pay.

Of course, you would need to be added on to her Bank Account so you can sign the check.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bevthegreat
Report

Disgusted2 lay’s it out well, this is what we did too. Forwarded Moms mail x2 so it went a whole year and we got everything and set up auto or at least online pay for everything and changed the mailing address, Mom still got catalogues (don’t get me started on the flood of those) and some miscellaneous non critical mail that way which was/is good for her and my brother got all the important stuff. For incidentals when she was going out on her own for a short time and for grocery shopping she had a debit/credit card attached to her “spending” account so we could control how much was in it to spend, we are fortunate she always thinks she doesn’t have money and isn’t a spender at all so never any issues with the card.

Hirering a fiduciary to do this is also possible, the professional ones are and you should make sure, bonded etc but unless you really don’t want any part of it or can’t do it it’s an expense that for us is unnecessary. The bills are pretty seamless once the auto pay and bank sending checks is all set up.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Lymie61
Report
disgustedtoo Apr 27, 2021
"Mom still got catalogues (don’t get me started on the flood of those)..."

Sadly over time all THOSE came to my PO Box as well, including MORE garbage mail. Selling address information IS a big business these days, so once an address is known, it gets sold and other crap arrives! I just laugh at them, tear off any personal info and recycle the paper. It isn't just those we manage finances for either. I've gotten several mailings for my ex who 1) NEVER lived in this house and 2) passed away many years ago! We split up at least 35 years ago, so you KNOW the data miners are collecting information online (I've looked up his name and anyone associated with him at some time is listed as "associated".) Again, I laugh at these and toss any personal info and recycle them.

Their dime wasted. They won't get anything from me!
(3)
Report
See 1 more reply
Probably not. As others have suggested, it would be better to change her mailing address to YOURS so that you can take care of those few bills that need checks written.

In the meantime, arrange to have nearly all of her bills via automatic online deduction. I've already done this with most of our bills. (My husband is 70 and I am 68 - but I want things already in place in case one of us drops dead suddenly.)
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to dragonflower
Report

Thats what i do the Professional take everything by bill pay thank you for that i dont need know one to take over my money. i was talking about how much they would charge ml e to bath me.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to laster
Report

I dont need know one to pzy my Bills I only havve a few Bills to pzy. My Credit Union pay my Bills. I am ok with that.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to laster
Report

All bill paying can be done from any location, I see no reason to hire that task out. I would never consider doing that
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to my2cents
Report

Humans being what they are, sadly there's that risk in every situation.

There are professional money managers who work under tons of legalities - someone's looking over their shoulder. Similarly, anyone asked to handle someone else's money should be accountable to a review of what they're doing. It really protects everyone involved.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to ravensdottir
Report

When I took over mom's bills while she was still in her condo, I put in temp forward of her mail (about 1.5 months.) I used the bills to set up Bill Payer and contact each place to request a change in MAILING address, not service address. Even the town services were accommodating (RE Taxes and Water bill.) The only items that won't forward are Federal (SS, Medicare, Fed pensions, VA, IRS are the biggies - they don't accept POAs either. You have to follow THEIR rules.) Anyway, one item that was billed yearly was missed - insurance. Once I snagged that bill, everything was in the system and bills went to my PO box. Anything that couldn't go electronic was paid by check the BANK processed and mailed. No need to run to the PO or buy stamps! It was GRRRREAT!

Once the condo was sold, the only check I had to write were her monthly MC cost, trust funds to deposit into checking account and tax prep. If anything else came up, so long as I had a name and address to mail payment to, into the Bill Payer system it went.

I wouldn't hire someone to do that, esp if you are not local to where they are. It's much harder to oversee and deal with issues that might happen. The Bill Payer systems are SO much better! I even used it to pay the nail trimmer who would cut mom's nails (or claimed to.) She didn't even mail a bill, she emailed a statement to me. Oh, I also wrote checks to the hairdresser place, but it was on the way to mom's place and other local businesses, so not a big deal to do that every 5-6 weeks. I think once I wrote one to the dentist, but later put them into the BP system as well. Her federal medical and Medicare generally covered everything, but if some medical billed us legit, I would just add them to the system as well.

Have the bills mailed to you. If you use E-billing, that would go to your email - I preferred regular mail for bills and statements, so sadly I have boxes for every one of the last 6 years now... Just in case one of the bros decides to ask Qs now (personally I'd prefer to just tell them go pound sand - you criticize, don't help, hinder all the time, cause problems AND don't visit your mother? PFFFFT!) But if they decide to be real jerks and go legal, I don't have to scramble to get anything, it's ALL here!

Have the mailing addressed changed so you have bills, receipts, etc and put it all into the BP system. So much easier, less hassle and generally FREE!
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to disgustedtoo
Report

The is a profession in the US, Daily Money Manager, https://www.investopedia.com/terms/d/daily-money-manager.asp who can take on this role.

No matter who is hired, there needs to be oversight.

But I agree online bill payments and etransfers will take care of almost all expenses. I am not sure how common etransfers are in the US, but here in Canada they are a common form of payment.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Tothill
Report

If I had financial POA, I would have bills sent to me rather than wherever my senior was. Good to set up autopay, but most other bills can be paid online (that is how I pay pretty much all our household bills). I would also set up online banking so I can check statements regularly. Learned to do this weekly - the hard way. We had debit cards hacked a couple of times (probably skimmers when getting gas). Checks can be easily changed and funds stolen.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Taarna
Report

I totally agree with MJ1929 I pay everything through online banking even the gardener. If the creditor does not accept direct electronic payments the bank sends a check. It is an excellent way to keep track of all transactions. When the time comes our son will activate the POA and do the same. Also the nice thing about online is who ever has the person does not have to be local to do it. You might look at hiring a fiduciary to manage the account. There is a website listing of licensed financial planners and professionals.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Mermal
Report

I pay everything --EVERYTHING -- online, including one-time occurring bills. It's an easy way to keep track of the money going out of my mom's account, and I have my finger on all of it. There's no way I'd hand over a checkbook to anyone else.

Just have the bills sent to your address, and pay that way.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to MJ1929
Report

Yes, they make it so easy to pay bills now. My DH likes the old fashioned way. My Bank has Zelle.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29
Report

Picking someone out of a crowd, including an agency, is not safe. Unlike a POA, that person has no fiduciary responsibility to act on behalf of the LO. In addition, the company to whom the check is written may not accept it if it isn't signed by the acct holder or her POA. Because these are not monthly recurring bills, they should be directed to the POA for payment.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to sjplegacy
Report

Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter