My Mom has amassed a mountain of debt. She just had a stroke, I'm worried about legal ramifications of signing anything. Any thoughts? - AgingCare.com

My Mom has amassed a mountain of debt. She just had a stroke, I'm worried about legal ramifications of signing anything. Any thoughts?

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I have heard some horror stories recently about a friend who's father was taken to his house and dropped off after money ran out. My parents have a mountain of debt, no assets. I want to try to help them through this, keep my dad living independently as long as possible, for my mom it doesn't look good. A recent stroke has left her pretty disabled, maybe rehab will work. I don't think it will work in the 20 some days allotted by medicare. Any thoughts? I live in MI, my husband is very concerned.

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As far as I know simply being POA does not make you responsible for others debts, BUT be careful of how (and what you sign) Mary Smith as POA for John Jones. That way, it is clear that you are signing as POA only for someone else, not in your own right.
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Yes I am afraid a lot of services like that are also out for money…living cheaper and smarter would be a big plus for them. My mom has a need for brand new every things. As for bacon….maybe we would like some Mrs. Dash and one nice chicken breast ..lol.
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they dont need credit councilors, they need a 25 pound bag of rice and 5 pound of jowel bacon to flavor it with. gotta live cheaply in this economy.
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Auburn Hills MI has a senior services office. I would start at auburnhills.org and see if they can connect you to a credit counselor for seniors.
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Agreed to all Jeanne says...also, after you have Poa executed, make sure that the debt is actually theirs and not some identity theft/fraud thing. The fact that both of your parents have expired debit cards points to the fact that something fishy is going on here. You might call the manager of their bank and enlist his support in looking into this.
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Thank you, I appreciate your answers. My husband is really worried POA puts us legally responsible. The idea about a lawyer would be reasonable except we have no extra money to do this. My parents have no additional assets, only debt. To complicate things further, my dad seems to have no access to money. He pulled out his debt card to buy groceries and it was expired..on further inspection so was moms. Their bank has no branch in MI (wells fargo) and we need to get everything transferred here so my dad can go into a branch and start knowing a thing or two about his finances. uhg….as far as loving them..will do..always have. This situation with the business end that goes along with it, I just need to learn in a hurry.
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Whatever you sign, do it as their POA, and not on your own behalf.

Since your parents have no assets they will most likely qualify for Medicaid. Start looking into the application process for that. Do they have pensions or retirement income in addition to Social Security?

Medicaid can cover some in-home care, and if that isn't adequate for Mother after the rehab, it can cover a care center.

I would not do anything about the debt at the moment. Consult an attorney who specializes in elder law. Get help setting up the POA and Advance Healthcare Directive. Get advice about what, if anything, to do about the debt.

Love them both. Focus on that. Keep calm about the "horrible situation." Assure them that you'll help them through the difficulties, but downplay it and try to keep stress levels from going through the roof.

Best wishes to you all. Please keep us informed of how things are working out.
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I am the only child, both of them are agreeable to having me help. I want to be their POA and help my dad navigate out of this horrible situation he didn't even know they were in. What can I do?
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