Mom's financial planner wants my name on her accounts. Would mom be liable/responsible for my financial issues? - AgingCare.com

Mom's financial planner wants my name on her accounts. Would mom be liable/responsible for my financial issues?

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My mom's financial planner wants my name on her bank accounts and other accounts. I am reluctant as I have had my identity stolen and have been in a precarious financial situation for quite a while as a result. Though I am not considering bankruptcy (nor do I need to), my financial situation is unstable and I do not want to involve my mother in it. If I put my name on any or all of her accounts, would I thus involve her in my financial situation and place her in jeopardy?

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If someone files a lawsuit against you, they could freeze any accounts with your name on the account, including your mother's accounts. If they win the lawsuit, they will take your mother's money as well as yours. If the IRS comes after you, they will come after your mother's accounts if your name is on those accounts. You do not say why her financial planner wants your name on her accounts. If your mother needs for you to write her checks, pay her bills, or give her other assistance, you should get a Power of Attorney.
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@cetude, You clearly misread my question, which is intended to insure my mom is in no way liable for my situation.

As it turns out, as I am the Successor Trustee I don't need to have my name on the trust.

Thanks to all for your input.
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If you were to do this, it may be a sticking point if your mother ever decides to apply for Medicaid.
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There are several options available to you regarding this situation. Please, do not take any answer, although people are really trying to help; every State has different Estate Laws and requirements along with Banking regulations set by the US Government i.e. death taxes.

1. Search YOUR State statues regarding the handling of a Mother's financial issues

2. NOT every Attorney understands what is TOTALLY necessary to help you/your Mother so as to keep the finances COMPLETELY SEPARATE from your situation; possible bankruptcy

3. The bank will also need to be involved. There are a few different types of re-naming accounts. You will need a legal document i.e. Power of Attorney which will state what you are ONLY ALLOWED to access the funds from your Mother's account i.e. paying her bills, medical costs....

You will also need to make sure with the Bank that NONE of your Mother's accounts can be garnished or writ from the IRS or any other creditor, including yours.

NOT EVERY BANKER KNOWS THE ANSWERS. YOU MAY WANT TO BE REFERRED TO THE BANK'S TRUST DEPARTMENT (I was a banker for over 30+ yrs and had to deal with portions of your issue).

4. You MAY possibly need to present to a Family Court or Probate Court paperwork indicating what the situation is regarding the need to access your Mother's accounts. It may only require a letter from her doctor indicating that she is no longer able to handle her finances due to her medical conditions/situation.

The court may decide to appoint 3rd party as Conservator who would have to account to the Court on a regular basis regarding ALL expenditures. The Court could also appoint an Guardian for your Mother; again, this could be a 3rd party.

Research the difference between Conservator/Guardian duties. In some States, if a Guardian is appointed, your Mother will lose her rights (driving, voting) basically becoming a minor again. The Guardian would be responsible for all of the decisions regarding your Mother that would exclude you. You could petition the Court over your concerns, but if the Court overrules you, then you become responsible for all Court costs and Attorney fees.

This area may also become an issue once your Mother passes and her Estate even if you are an only child or have siblings. There are Estate Statues that could allow others to receive what your Mother has requested in her Will, but you may lose everything that she intended for you to receive (including life insurance beneficiary, bank account beneficiary). Check to see if your Mother's bank accounts are instructed as beneficiary or upon death...yes, there is a difference.

5. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR ATTORNEY TO BECOME OR SIGN ON ANY OF YOUR MOTHER'S ACCOUNTS. THIS WOULD/COULD OPEN A PANDORA'S BOX REGARDING FRAUD.

The attorney could....stress could...use you without your knowledge of the Law to commit fraud also. You won't know about it until your Mother passes and the Estate, including assets/debts/inventory of the Estate. This means that even should your Mother have a Last Will and Testament, the Judge can over ride it and force anything of value to be sold (like her home) to pay all of her creditors.

6. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO QUESTION ANYTHING YOUR ATTORNEY IS TELLING YOU!

I have been researching everything I possibly can and present the Law/Statutes/my understanding to an Estate Attorney for his research and answers (I live in a different State than my Mother). I then validate his answers back to the State Law.

8. There are many articles regarding this exact subject on-line. I was researching for hours last night and learned so much. I also compare these articles against others from Attorneys who claim to be experts, online to find any differences and why are their answers different.

9. The State Recorder's government website is extremely helpful. You will need to research under your County even though State Law takes precedence in all situations. They general have a PDF to download and you can either email or call them with questions if necessary.

10. Research the Secretary of State website regarding Notary law. These requirements are set by the State government via Bill. People and many Attorneys do not realize that Notary laws have changed. Should something be left out or done improperly, you could have another hornet's nest to contend with regarding legal documentation.

Again, I know that everyone posting; including myself, are trying to help you. Research, research, research!! It takes a lot of time, but better that you have a really good understanding of the Law than just taking your Attorney's answer as gospel.
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First, ask the planner why.
Then you will know why.
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You need to check with the financial planner, and possibly an elder law attorney...because this could work in reverse as well...you need to be sure. I.e. would you be responsible for mom's expenses/debt/accounts. Many years ago I was in financial jeopardy and was so foolish to believe in being honest with the creditors. When behind on one credit card affiliated with a local bank...where my parents had an account or two...and HAD listed me on it...they apparently matched me by social security number and drained THEIR account of the funds without notifying either of us. My financial business was private so I was horrified. I thought some good close friend had paid off my account because all I knew was I received my usual charge statement with a zero balance one month. And mom found out when she went to get funds to pay a wallpaper hanger. Having recently gone through some experience with the bank as my name has been added to be POA, they will ask for SS numbers etc. I'd go forward cautiously and not without some guidance. I also will never have an account at the same bank.
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cetude I think you should re-read the OP, the question was for the exact opposite reasons you stated.
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Placing children's names on accounts is very dangerous whether on bank, investments or RE. The parent will not be liable, but the property will. Best solution is a Durable Power of Attorney during their life and a Revocable Living Trust after death.
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Ask the financial planner, he should know.
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you are planning to use her money for your mess? Get another POA.
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