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Running up credit cards knowing she doesn't have money to pay them. I have durable POA. She orders stuff thru mail, donates to all sorts of people who solicit in the mail. She is 95 years old. Right now she has missed paying on one CC for 3 months.
She lives alone because she is not able to get along with anyone else in family.She has no money left for nursing home or assisted living. She is not concerned about bills because "I will be gone and someone else can handle it".

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I'm in the process of doing POA, (mine and my husband's ) with my eldest daughter, as trustworthy as they come, has an MBA and makes 3 times the money we do. So I'm very fortunate. In NYS, as I understand things, POA, if granted, can act for the grantee without notice. My brother has been doing this for my mom for years. She hasn't been declared incompetent, but in fact she is.

In the case of the OP, I think I would want to find out what my responsibility was as POA, in terms of safeguarding the elder's funds.
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Babalou and Lady2T, have you set up your own POA arrangement? I have. But that doesn't mean my POA could waltz in and take over my finances! IF I began having difficulty and I ASKED the POA to help or if I were declared incompetent, then the POA could get involved.

If POAs really had all the authority we sometimes ascribe to them, no one in their right mind would want to appoint a POA!
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Yes. I would DEFINITELY use my power of attorney. If possible, get guidance from the attorney who drew up the document for you. Also try reasoning with her. ask her what happens if she lives to be 115? She would still be responsible for the bills she made, and no one else would "handle it".
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I'm sorry, i missed that you have durable poo a. What does yhat mean to you? To me, having durable poa means that your mom trusted you enough when she was of sound mind to keep her out of the financial trouble she's getting into. I think you need to shut off her acess to her money. Period.
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I have POA
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Unless someone gets guardianship, no one can tell her what to do. I assume no one has POA?
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My sister went thru similar situation with her mother-in-law several years ago and even tho state took over her affairs, creditors bugged my sister and brother-in-law to the point that they had to hire an attorney and threaten a law suit.We are trying to avoid that!! I do manage my own affairs sensibly.
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The prepaid cremation is a good thing.

I'm afraid that "no one is going to tell her what to do" (unless a creditor gets a court order for payment).

It sounds like this is how she has lived her life. It is too late to expect change. Manage your own affairs sensibly. Try not to be too concerned about hers.
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Mom has prepaid for her cremation. The sad thing about all of this- she has enough income coming in, if she would only accept help in managing it. She has had credit cards for years. She and my stepfather never saved, always spent every penny
they got. We don't know where to turn. Her words "no one is going to tell me what to do."
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Is Mom's funeral prepaid? If not, can you get her to buy that on one of her spending sprees? With her attitude that "someone else can handle it" that might be hard. But it is one expense that you or family will have to face if she dies without enough funds. Explain to her she might wind up in a pauper's grave (or modern day equivalent) -- and if she doesn't care, I guess you shouldn't, either.

I really feel for you, having to watch this without authority to change it. Hugs!
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How does a 95 year old senior even have a credit card? You can go on line to any of the credit agencies. (Transunion, equifax, etc) and opt out for mailings of credit card offers to her. That may slow down new cards. Then you can close out all but one card. If it is closed, mail orders won't go thru. Have her mail redirected to your address. Put her phone number on the list to eliminate robot calls (nomorobodotcom). Find out when her mail is delivered and try to take solicitations home with you to destroy. Do EVERYTHING possible to remove opportunity. When my Mom was moving at age 90, I tracked all of her mail to be sure to notify of her change of address! I too was shocked at the number of solicitations. And when I looked them up 90+% was for administrative costs leaving less than 10% for the intended charity! Visit with a large bag. Stuff it with solicitations, you are a winner letters' mail orders that can be returned, etc. If she orders from a catalog, call the number found inside the catalog and (if you aren't superstitious) tell them she is no longer with us and it is VERY upsetting to continue to get mail in her name. A few more will come but then they stop. None of this will help return her lost money but it may stop the drainage. Sometimes, you just have to be the 'parent' and do what is right! But do as much as you can without upsetting the apple cart.
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Can you get the charge cards and checkbook and preserve what ever funds are left? How did things get this bad?
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It must be really hard to watch that happen. Know that you personally have no financial responsibility for her bills. If there is no money left in her estate when she passes, the debt is written off...at least that is my lay interpretation of credit card debt. It most assuredly does not pass to you personally.

It would be good if you could get control, but since there's nothing left to conserve? Well, I wouldn't sweat it myself.

You might begin looking at Medicaid for mom. With no assets, if she needs medical assistance, that's her only alternative.
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