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Once again it’s going to be tax time again soon, and deadlines are deadlines. Mom has a whole slew of investments, and receives all the K1’s and 1099’s. Before she used to have some of them sent to my address, but during the year she managed to change it, and now many of the documents are going to her. She’s a hoarder, so no documents end up in a file; they are just hidden around in various places. For the most part she’s completely unable to take care of any financial matters – I have to do that for her. For example, while looking for documents I found refund checks she had received but never deposited. Last year when we filed the taxes, we literally had to make up the numbers. I had based them on the numbers from the year before, but I have no idea what the end numbers really are. Every time I ask for a POA she calls me a “Crook!” I know this is just part of the dementia, but last night it just wore me down too far. Anyone else find themselves in the quandary? Now here’s where it gets complicated. My mother disinherited me years ago in a trust agreement where she left everything to UCLA. There’s a paragraph in that agreement that states that if she becomes incompetent that the trustees have the right to take physical possession of my mother and her assets. That was the first thing they told me after my Dad passed away earlier this month. The second thing they asked was if the property insurance was current, and the property taxes were paid. I did think about obtaining guardianship, but that would just make me financially liable for any mistakes on my part – besides which, I really don’t care about looking after UCLA’s future assets – or pardon me, whatever is left over after the attorney in question gouges the estate for fees. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

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Mterpin, given your clarifications, I think you should at least consult with a good elder-law attorney. If you can't afford one, then call your state's Legal Aid office to see if they can provide some help. You also might ask an attorney about contacting the bar association in the state where the trust's attorney lives about your suspicion that the attorney is not following your mother's wishes.
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Thanks for all your comments.

First off let me get one thing straight - I am guestimating her income om the high side - the IRS will never have a problem with overpaying taxes, it's just when you underpay that they have a problem. But after reading the posts, I am inclined to call the IRS (or better still have the CPA call) and ask if they have records of the 1099s on file. I do get most of them sent to me, but there are a few that go to her, and those disappear.

Secondly, though her trust states that everything goes to UCLA, she wants to leave it to me - the problem is that there may be an attorney involved who is not following her wishes. I have often asked her why she always called me whenever she had a problem, and not UCLA, and her answer was always that I was her daughter. Talk about crazy-making!!

Additionally, both wills may not be honored here because there are different laws regarding inheritance down here. It's likely that even the trust will not be honored.

Besides I'm afraid of them (the attorney) taking possession of her, and moving her back to L.A. where I would not be able to see her again.
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I'm going to change my input a little and go with the comment by mek1951. Give her the name of an elder lawyer and step away. I think my way was ok, but it involves more stress for you. Do what you can and then wash your hands of the entire ordeal.
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Unless you have been legally designated to have the resposibility and liability for your Mom's finances, you don't have to do anything. I'd ignore doing a tax return for her and letting the IRS contact her if it's a problem. First off, you don't have to file a return if you owe no tax, but in order to get a refund of any withholding, you have to file. Also, if not filing is not an option, be sure her income level meets the threshold for having to file.
Next, I'd have a knock down drag out with her and let her know if she wants anymore help from you, that she'll have to "un-disinherit" you and provide you with some financial support for the work you are doing for her. So what if she calls you a crook. Your comments make it sound as if she's still living alone. What's she going to do when she can't be alone anymore. You have to be the strong one and say "this is how it's going to be, or can expect no further help from me."
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Please consider just stepping back. Put a trustworthy lawyer in touch with her, and let her do what she feels she must. If she won't let you help, you are stuck, and arranging backup for her is both ethical and kind.
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First, file for an extension, but pay what you calculate is due by April 17 (tax date this year), because you still need to pay what is due when due. Second, since you seem to know most of your mother's sources of income, call them and ask them to send her duplicate 1099s, K-1s. etc. If you ask them for duplicates sent to her, possibly some of the companies will send them without asking you to prove you have POA, which you don't. Assuming you have collected at least some of her 1099s and K-1s, from previous years, if her holdings remained the same, then an accountant should be able to determine the income values for these securities. With this collection of information, you might be able to get pretty close to her tax obligation. You still eventually will need the actual 1099, K-1s, etc.. Since your mother is still verbal, would you be able to tell her that she needs the documents to file and that you can't find them, and have her call for duplicates while you are with her?

There is still an issue of who signs your mother's return. As you probably know, even if you had POA, a separate POA is required for taxes. I am thus assuming your mother is still signing her own returns. Given all the issues, you probably want her to be legally responsible anyway!

I realize there will still be issues for the future, assuming you are not living near her if she still won't let you have POA. Get this year taken care of first!
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Good reminder to me that I need to update my files. I have always done my own taxes, but I know I may not always be able to do this. I have a financial manager who is in charge of my investments, and I have auto-pay for all my credit card bills. I first realized my late husband had dementia when he started getting late fees on his credit cards because he forgot to pay the bills.
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Since you are not her POA, you cannot legally do her taxes or have them done and signed by you. If she does not pay her taxes, they can come and take whatever money they decide that she owes them. The IRS does not care about a person's age or health (they didn't with my mother), and they will come after the money.
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mterpin,
So sorry for the loss of your dad. This is a difficult time for you, and it's time to tell UCLA it's time for them to take over your mom's affairs, as she directed when she was, presumably, in her right mind.
This was what she and your dad wanted to do, doing it will relieve you of a huge responsibility and hassle--maybe that was their intent, AND you will be in the far more pleasant position of being able to be her loving daughter and advocate instead of the "crook" who wants to worry her about finances all the time!
I would not take the advice someone gave about trying to "trick" the UCLA trustee. It is much more pleasant to be pleasant, and you will be treated with much more pleasant respect in return. I'm sure the trustee would be much more receptive of any suggestions you want to make regarding the care your mom is getting if you are helping them in any way you are able. Maybe you would like to see her get her hair done a couple times a month with her money. A trustee who is grateful for your help in sorting paperwork and cooperating about the disposition of personal effects is probably going to be more agreeable about getting your mom the care you think she needs.
If you are still trying to decide what to do about the taxes, I suggest a call to the attorney who drew up the trust paperwork. If that's the one who is "gouging," well, it's still the one your parents chose, right?
And, I wouldn't worry about the impending deadline, either. Not your problem. Realistically, if you don't even have POA, there's really nothing you can do legally about filing her taxes. They're her responsibility. So, what do you think the IRS can do? Put your mom in jail? Really?
Take a deep breath, do something you love to do, and go visit your mom with a nice bouquet of flowers or a box of candy. Smile and have a good visit remembering good times with your dad. Relax and be blessed.
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mterpin: Yes, I experienced something like this with my mother. She had her town's bookkeeper balance her checkbook. However, the bookkeeper was so bad at her job that she was $859 off FOR 8 MONTHS. My mother's response when I brought it up was "she'll get it right on month # 9." I said "No, mother, she does not get 9 chances to balance a checkbook. She either balances or she doesn't, whereby she adds or subtracts the amount to the account.
I don't think you should be "gestimating" income. The IRS is going to come aftee you with an audit.  Besides, it's UCLA's finances anyway.
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QUITE FRANKLY I'D TELL UCLA TO CHECK THAT THEMSELVES BECAUSE THAT'S THEIR FUTURE ASSETS NOT YOURS - they should also do the clean up when she passes because it will then all belong to them & legally you would have no right to even empty a stinking garbage pail - if they want you to do it then they pay you otherwise run don't walk away

The one exception is that any family papers dealing with you, your dad & any siblings is possibly not really hers to give away - tell them you'll take family photos, documents etc that they don't need but NOTHING ELSE without your consent so you don't end up with some of the junk in your lap - then be sneeky & hide something in the piles that is obviously yours & see if you get it back - take pix while you do it - even an old bill with your name & address on it would do [or maybe several] - just to keep them honest! - then tell them about those old cheques that were never cashed - if they don't return those items you hide then you can cry foul

As for now let her try to do her taxes herself - keep your sanity by not killing yourself to help someone who really doesn't want it - she might take the scare to clean up her act if they go after her

Let the government try to sue her because then she will be forced into getting the help she needs - I have taken on the tax people several times & won each time so I don't fear them anymore because they are really an ancient lion with a big roar & few teeth & claws left but a huge reputation for being the 'BIG BAD WOLF' who will gum you to death if you let him
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Mterpin, I second the excellent advice of filing tax return extensions with IRS and state tax commission and paying estimate taxes plus 15%, which will give you some time to try to sort things out and get CPA and/or legal help.

Regarding your mother's trust stating that the trustee takes charge of your mother and her assets if she become incompetent -- my dad's trust said basically the same thing, but when I petitioned for guardianship and conservatorship, the judge, in consideration that I had been his primary caregiver for several years, appointed me as both guardian and conservator. It's important to know that trusts cannot appoint either guardians or conservators, only judges can do that. It's certainly understandable if you'd rather not be your mother's guardian and conservator, but you could consider becoming just her guardian and not her conservator (although since you've been filing her taxes, it sounds like you are serving as a defacto conservator). There are options and you may want to consult with an elder-law attorney about the unfortunate situation in which you and your mother find yourselves.

Lastly, if your mother's trust is revocable rather than irrevocable, you may want to explore revoking it as an option, especially if you think your mother might outlive her assets and you truly believe the trust attorney is "gouging the estate for fees." An alternative to revoking a trust is replacing the trustee.
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If you choose not to turn her and money over to UCLA.

I am a full charge bookkeeper and I advise you to use mom's money and hire a good CPA, they have easier access to the IRS maze, it does 2 things, you are no longer responsible for the information on the return and if there is an audit the CPA by law must represent your mom through the audit. This is why they are so conscientious with tax returns. Sending in estimated #s on a tax return is actually worse then not filing, they default right to you are trying to cheat. I'm sorry that your mom has disowned you, that can not be an easy spot to be in, considering that she has the gaul to except your free help, sorry if that is offensive, I just don't appreciate any person that does that to anyone, let alone their offspring.

You can go to the IRS and your State tax websites and do the extensions, send in any tax based on previous years and add 15%, this will 1) give u time to find a CPA, to late to ask a new CPA to step into this mess for 2017 taxes 2) if last year was under paid it helps lower the outstanding balance which lowers interest and shows good faith that just might get them to waive penalties.

Ask friends, business acquaintance, family, etc for a referral, not all CPA firms are all that great, do your research. They are happy to have a meet and greet, life is hard who wants to deal with people that make it harder. They will give you a list of what they need and will step in, at a fee, to do leg work for missing data. I would let them, it is mom's money and mess, she should foot the bill.

Don't stress, get extensions filed, find CPA, maybe one mom can trust to receive all future tax related mailings, then turn it over. One less thing for your mom to call you names over.

God bless you for all you do for your mom and may He grant you the strength to endure.
HUGS 2 u!
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I know you really don't want to do this..but let UCLA take over. They have the lawyers and accountants to handle her money. It's in their best interest. At this point, if Mom has Dementia, you can't POA anyway. And I agree I wouldn't want guardianship. You have to report how her income is being used. Not sure if u could get it anyway since she stipulated UCLA to take over when she can no longer handle her money. They get everything, let them have the headache.
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You have a mess...but you knew that...If you have the funds, definitely would get to a certified elder law specialist (ask around, ask about fees/inclusiveness...lesson learned the hard way: witch we went to that was so highly regarded...she charged her fee for every damn question she READ and Responded to...you don't want someone like that). At the same time, you need to connect with a tax prep person (I would avoid the ones with initials that are nationwide chains:-) ) and at least file an extension. As I recall, you are still obligated to make a payment if one is anticipated due (did she owe last year?) I don't know how you are going to pull this off if she is uncooperative and accusatory...maybe she will be sweet with an outsider...succumb to authority? In a worst case scenario, I'd connect with Adult Protective Services...really sorry to hear about your loss earlier in the month with your dad...from my understanding, becoming guardian is a long process and then you are saddled with an immense job of documenting all expenses...and if she is being secretive, that will be an immense challenge...though, at the same time...at that point all the paperwork/bills would go directly to you, not her...so at least you could call off the hunting maybe in the future...Is the court able to appoint a guardian? Was she competent when she left things to UCLA? Don't forget you may need your OWN attorney to look out for YOUR status/well-being with the estate...
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mterpin, first thing, my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family on the passing of your Dad.

I understand what you are going through. Even though my Dad passed in late 2016, my late Dad still is having his income taxes done by his CPA because Dad's probate hasn't been closed and signed as of yet.

Who knew Probate would take so darn long. But then again, part of it was my fault as I needed a clear head to dig through a lot of files that my Dad had to find this paper and that paper. So time dragged on. And here I thought I had everything organized :P Had to go on-line and set up "account" with the banks and stock broker so I could pull some of Dad's old records.

When my Dad was alive, his 1099's and bank interest information was either thrown out or thrown in a drawer by Dad. At 94, Dad just wasn't interested with managing the finances as that was my late Mom's job, and she had passed a year prior to Dad.

It was my Dad's caregiver who was finding 1099's in the trash and in the recycling. So every trash day she had to sort through the trash to see if there were any bills or documents. So I quickly got a change of address to my home.

Your last year taxes with whatever $$ you thought would be close, the IRS is use to seeing such forms as not everyone is a CPA so there will be errors. Your Mom probably got a letter from the IRS saying she owes more along with a penalty, or either she got a refund check. The IRS has all the duplicate forms from the banks and brokerage.

If you file for an extension, you would need to send to the IRS a check with the estimate amount of the taxes owed along with the extension paperwork.

Feel like you are running through a maze??
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Concered151 POA only kicks in when someone is not capable of taking care of things such as money issues. It sounds like your mom is competant. Therefore your sisters POA would not be warranted. Check with a lawyer who works with elder law. Unfortunately there may be some legal issues in regards to mismanagement. Best to you and your family.
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Agree with TOMTAge - you are going to need help. Although it may appear that last year is okay, it can take sometimes 3 years before they "catch up" to these tax returns (state and federal), so you are not out of the woods on that one by any means.

Although quick lookup finds many articles on letting the IRS figure your taxes (they DO get copies of all the important documents like 1099s and investments), maybe half say don't do this.  However, since you have no POA and limited, if any, documents, this might be a time to let the IRS take care of it. She has 'written you off' and you have no legal standing at this time, I would let this be done elsewhere. It is not worth stressing about. IF UCLA is so concerned about what might/might not be left, let THEM handle it!

I had similar difficulty with mom and paperwork. I was able to forward all bills to me and take care of that. With pension and SS (in both cases they are federal), I cannot have the documents forwarded. I did have POA, but it doesn't matter for federal documents. It took two years and much effort to get onto the pension as representative. SS was quicker, but required face-to-face and a whole new account just for SS funds. Both require yearly (at least) reporting. Prior to that I was doing her taxes (second year kept asking for the documents and WEEKS before the deadline she says Oh no one was doing them so I went to H&R and I'm getting $5000 back! STAY AWAY FROM THEM, THEY ARE IDIOTS!!! I had to go there and have them undo what they did and return the money - they left out the pension completely!!! I still did the taxes, for a year or so (brother lost the refund, had to wait until IRS reissues when check not cashed), but sought out a reputable agent (there are people who are IRS certified tax preparers - I found a local one and brought the trust taxes to him last year (first filing). Now that we are funding her MC from this, I am having him do hers at least this year, to ensure it is done right and the MC is deductible.

But again, in your case you do not have the documents, you do not have any legal authority to deal with any of this, I would not file another "bogus" return - if you feel you need to help mom, then you need some serious legal assistance (tax attorney? It should be paid for with mom's income, NOT yours!) Also hopefully you did not add your name in any way to last year's return and certainly do NOT do that this year or any future year!
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You need legal and financial help. Stumbling around in the dark just makes it worse. Get expert help!
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I help my relatives with their taxes and missing documents is a problem. I finally have them trained to have a big "Tax Folder" that all key letters are put into- I get the folder and open all the envelopes at time of taxes. Would it help to give your mother a big fat envelop every January marked "Tax Stuff" and convince her all key letters need to go into it? Not a perfect solution but may prevent information being hidden in multiple locations.
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My sister took POA for my dad just before dad was diagnosed with dementia. My sister changed the addresses on  BOTH of my parents bills to her own. (Mom is still of sound mind but my sister has taken over). Last year sis was supposed to file for an extension due to poor record keeping. Sis never did and Mom lost the star program on their property ($1,000 reduction with Star) Mom went to an accountant and he got the Star program reinstated. Now just this morning Mom called and Sis has done the same thing all over again. Sis has had POA over Dad for a short time but has taken over and majorly screwed my parents just like she did for herself with several bankruptcies in her files.
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I believe that you can get into serious legal trouble filling a tax return with made up numbers. What is the deadline for taxes there?
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Can you get the documents on the investment websites?
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mterpin, I feel for you! My mother keeps ‘most’ of her stuff together, which of course isn’t close enough to do taxes. I agree with cwillie, send off an approximate payment now then do an amendment later. If by chance your mom’s a member of AARP they have tax services. Otherwise, look around for an accountant that helps seniors at a church or other civic group nearby and get one of them involved, I couldn’t have gotten through it without one. I use my mother’s exhaustion with mail to go through it with her most every week, which is a drag for me but has helped get bills paid before they’re late, etc.

I PRAY we have that revenue reporting like they do in Canada, hope you can find that! Try to gear your mom into a session of ‘what accounts do you have’ and pull all her papers together from around the house. I KNOW, it’s a humongous pain! With some type of accountant involved she’ll understand more that she has to get things together. Good luck!
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Can you file an extension for her taxes? That would at least give you some time. With regard to obtaining POA, it took years for me to get it. I did some prep work, and completed the paperwork on my own (uslegalforms.com) Finally, I found a time when when dad was feeling trustworthy toward me, and took him to his bank where they witnessed and notarized the forms (will, living will, POA, and health will). Done. I made him copies, which who knows where they are now! That enabled me to all his health and financial decisions. He fell, went to the hospital, and from there went to home health care which didn't work out. Now he's in assisted living. Hates it, but also, when he has lucid moments, knows it's best for him. Good luck!
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When my Dad was ill, not with dementia, his sister would write out the checks and he would sign them. Do you think she would go for something like that or, have an accountant do the writing where she would still sign and the accountant would counter sign? Or course setting up the auto pay accounts would be a benefit to both of you.
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In Canada it is possible to sign up to get all your tax receipts from revenue canada and I imagine there is something similar in the USA? (yeah, they already have them all) but it might be getting a bit late for that though. The main thing is to file and pay what you owe on time, you can always amend her return later.

As for the rest of her daily accounts - I would set up direct deposit and withdrawal wherever possible and switch to online bills and banking that you can access. Or just use mom's money to hire a book keeper to do it all.
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