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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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Please note that if in the future your Mom ever wants to apply for Medicaid, before applying, most Elder Lawyers will ask you to close all joint accounts and return your Mom as the sole name on all accounts.
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If you have POA you already can access her account..

Though you did not ask about this, I suggest you consider having the contract with the planner amended, if not already done so, to state that the planner is a "fiduciary" meaning he/he can only do what is in mom's best interest. The usual relationship is to do what is "suitable" a much less stringent term. The planner will almost certainly say this is not necessary, but it is a very strong deterrent to doing things such as "churning" (making frequent trades so as to generate more commissions, some of which do not appear on financial statements of an account.)

Grace + Peace,

Bob
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I’d suggest you schedule a meeting with the FA for right after the beginning of the new year to discuss mom’s portfolio and the identity issues you’ve had. Stuff like this is common enough but let FA know. The FA probably can pull a credit report on you, & I’d let him do it so you can see from a lenders / financial services viewpoint what’s what in your history. It’s very VERY different report then what the big 3 send out to consumers. Also speak with FA about having accounts done with designated beneficiary so lessens probate issues. If your ID theft is pretty deep, you could do a LLC that your K1 100% on that is the DB for mom’s portfolio items. So rather than you & your SS# as the DB. The llc basically is just static LLC with federal ID issued, your state annual report filed, but doesn’t do anything or need tax filing or have $ till she dies. Ask the FA his thoughts or if there’s another situation that fits better. A good FA, especially if he’s with a “wire house “ will have attys they work with so can provide you with a list of attys to choose from to do whatever legal needed. Really a good FA is pretty priceless imo.

I’d also suggest that Mom should have you (your name so your SS#) as the POD (pay on death) on a checking account for you to be able to use after her death to take care of funeral, burial, any after death legal costs. If everything has aDB or POd = no probate needed. BUT everything, even teeny stuff, needs to be DB or POD to do this. 
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You probably should not have your name on her accounts as a joint owner as your problems can spill over to her. Did you tell her financial planner about your issues? Talk to the bankers about ways to avoid mixing your problems with her money. Maybe as her POA but not joint owner.
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Possibly, if you are added as a joint owner and not just someone who has the authority to administer her accounts. I've seen the advice to add your name to accounts often on this forum but I've never understood why (unless it is to avoid probate in the future) since a POA gives you all the authority you need. I would ask your bank and an attorney before doing this.
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Dear drobert312,

I do not believe so. Putting your name on the account is only meant to make it easier to access the accounts to pay bills or handle her financial affairs.
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