I am designated Mom's DPOA (full) and she is competent. She asks for help with paying bills. Can I pay under her name?

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My mother lives in Independent Living situation. Many bills automatically paid for her. She seeks help paying misc bills because they "stress her out" and sometimes thinks she is being "ripped-off." For example various insurances, phone, memberships, etc. It is difficult for me to advise her as I don't know if she legitimately owes and she doesn't remember. I live 3 hours away but would like to help her pay these various things and assess them. Can I pay them for FOR her from my home?

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Maggie, thanks for sharing those horror stories. I never even thought of the divorce and marital assets issues. I can see that joint accounts could also be considered assets if a judgment were entered in excess of policy limits or if someone was sued for something not covered by insurance.

I missed those completely. Thanks for shaking up this old brain!
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You can also take your POA to the banks, get the paperwork from the banks and have your mom sign it at home. I did this with my dad and didn't have to go through the ordeal of convincing him to go to the bank with me.
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Thank you all for the advise!! Fond regards and happy Thanksgiving
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GardenArtist, I have a friend who learned the hard way that one should never put their names on mom's or dad's accounts. Her parents did that...she never thought a thing about it.

When she was divorced, those accounts were listed as marital assets and her ex got his share. Heartbreaking.

PLUS, if there were to be a lawsuit against you, your parents' accounts would be considered among your assets.
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You can also go with your mother to change her accounts to be joint ones, with your name as authorized signatory. Then you can sign w/o having to deal with a DPOA. That's how we've done it for years.

But if you do use this method, review her checking account register for a few years and list the bills that are periodic, monthly, quarterly, and annually. I use a chart to keep track of my father's bills so I have an early alert system if one doesn't get delivered, which does happen periodically (especially in my area).
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Alternatively, you can go to paperless billing and set up online banking and bill payments, after registering POA with the bank of course.
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Dan, this sounds so familiar as I am doing the same thing for my Dad. My Dad tends to ignore the bills as that was Mom's job, but now Mom is in long term care. I have found bills in the recycling bin, and in the wastebaskets, some were over due. Some are on automatic payment, whew. Ok, now what?

Well, the Caregiver is helping out by checking the recycling and the wastebaskets and putting any finance item, bills or stock statements, into a bin for me to pick up. Then I pay those bills from my own checking account.

I will xerox the bill and check together on one page. I make two copies. One for my 3-ring binder and one for a 3-ring binder I have for Dad. Then Dad will reimburse me. I will mark what bills Dad had reimbursed me. I keep a running tab of what is owed.

The reason I do the above, which can be time consuming, is in case in the future if my parents need Medicaid. I don't want Medicaid to think the large checks that my Dad is giving me are "gifts".
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Of course you can...as long as mom agrees. Just change the addresses on those bills that aren't paid automatically to your own address and have at it.

If you haven't already, you will need to present the original POA document at mom's bank. I'll tell you right now, your job will be easy easy if you bring mom along when you do that. If you don't bring mom along, it will be difficult. Combine lunch with a trip to the bank, you won't be sorry. Be sure they just keep a copy. You get the original back.

Ask them how they would like ou to sign her checks. Mom's bank simply wanted them signed, "MaggieMarshall, POA." No telling what mom's bank will like.
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