Twenty years ago, my parents separated but never divorced. Back then, my father appointed me POA to his bank accounts. He is now terminally ill and my mother has said that after he passes, I am to withdraw all of the money and give it to her. She said she will use it to pay the bills. Should I ask my father right now if this is okay, before he becomes incapacitated? I don't know what to do. My mother and I are very close, but she is a very private person. I don't know much about her personal life since she left my father.
I would think if he wants her to have his money he will have made that provision in his will.
By the way - your POA authority ends upon your fathers passing - at which time the Executor of the estate takes over. If there is no will a court of law must name an executor.
Your POA authority ends at his death. Do they both understand that?
(Edit) And to answer your original question -No, I can't comprehend why you would ever consider that to be OK.
Your father made you responsible for managing his financial affairs. Did he formally give your mother equivalent responsibility for his health care, or is she taking that position by virtue of being his wife only?
When you go to visit him without your mother there, you want at the same time to get somebody in a senior position in the room with you. His lead physician, a social worker, somebody with clout. And you need to nail down what his wishes are when it comes to powers of attorney and health care proxies, directives, all the rest of it.
You have to stop being afraid of your mother. Your mother is not in charge of the money. You are. Either do what that takes, or resign your POA.
At the moment, you feel you can't demand to see your father's bank statements or bills, can't ask your mother to account for what she has been doing for the last eight years. But that's your job. You have accepted responsibility. You are not free to turn a blind eye.
I wonder if it might help if you were to buy an hour's legal advice on where you might go from here. At the very least, get out your POA documentation and re-read it. It will remind you of what you're being asked to do.
Wrapping up a persons estate is more complex than handing over keys to a house or selling an RV. For example - the title and ownership papers to that RV. The person buying the RV is going to want the “pink slip” upon sale. The entity that holds those - even if it is just title and registration - will not release these documents to anyone other than your father (assuming he was the sole owner) without proof that the person asking for them has the legal authority to do so, i.e. the executor of the estate. As well, typically the executor must present proof that they are legally acting in this position as approved by a probate judge. In my state this proof comes in the form of Letters of Testamentary.
Banks, investments. real estate agents etc will all ask for this proof as well. So before anyone starts making plans of buying, selling and/or moving - you need to find out about the will and who the executor is. Once your father has passed - at that time the executor files the will with a probate court and their
position as executor must then be approved by a probate judge. It’s only then that the executor has authority - and the responsibility to follow the will exactly as written. And trust me - there are several steps along the way where a probate judge will be ensuring your fathers wishes as expressed in his will are being followed.
That was rather silly of her.
I think you might need to be careful. Why did your father give you power of attorney if your mother had been carrying out that role for the last eight years?
This isn't a matter of not trusting your mother. It's a matter of your responsibility as your father's POA.That paperwork, those bills - these are your job, and not hers. Bluntly, she has no business "working on" them.
It doesn't sound to me as though you're going to find it easy to tell her to butt out. Am I right?
I'm so sorry for your dad's terminal state. Also, that you have to go through this cr*p with your mother.
It sounds like she's kniving and secretive. You, as the financial POA have the legal RIGHT to make her show you what she is doing with his funds. So......DO IT. Make her show you what she's done and GET THE DEBIT CARD BACK. Legally you can demand it.
Since your control of his money ends on the day he passes, you will have no say what happens to the $ after that.
Is there ANY way you can get an elder law attorney up to your dad's hospital room to draft a will? Or if he could at least write out his wishes (I know he had a stroke and may not be able to write.)
After all this is said and done, if it were me, I'd steer clear of mom. Definitely do not ever take her into your home to live with you.
Again, I'm sorry. God bless your dad as he ends his time here and goes on to the next realm.
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