Can I open a credit card in my father's name to pay for one bill of his expenses? - AgingCare.com

Can I open a credit card in my father's name to pay for one bill of his expenses?

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I am POA for my father who has Alzheimer's. He currently has a card with frequent flyer miles and a yearly fee. The credit card company told us we can't switch to a no fee card. So either I continue to pay the fee, or close it and open one in my name. I should not have to do this. I just want one bill to pay his expenses to make things easier.

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I have all mom's money in a different bank than me - we are joint on an account but a set amount goes to another account automatically for fixed expenses - the other account has just a few dollars in otherwise - I find it easy to keep a credit card in my name that automatically is paid off each month - that bank has blue cards so I know they are for mom & green card is for dad & black card is for me - I have written in bold letters 'MOM' & 'DAD'

If you getting rid of card use those points up even if you go to a store & get a year supply of shampoo & razors with those points!
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How about just getting a money order to pay the one bill?
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I have been POA for my mother for a long time. We went to our bank and made changes to her accounts, that basically named me as "joint" owner. I pay all of her bills online using the joint account however, when I needed to buy her groceries, clothes, etc. I was using my debit card and then trying to figure out which charges were hers on the receipt. A few months ago, I went to the bank to see about getting a debit card for her. All I had to do was show my POA and i.d. (we both use the same bank) and they gave me a card. It's so much easier now because I can go to the grocery store, etc. and just have the cashier do two separate orders. I use her card for her groceries and my own card for my groceries.

I am not really sure if the credit card your father has, but I really think that you would be better off with a joint account, separate credit and debit card.
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You may want to learn about the signs of elder abuse and one of them is opening accounts in someone else's name, especially if they're incapacitated. You may not realize it, but this is just one of the things that they look for when investigating elder abuse. You may also want to learn something about POA abuse and how they often overstepped their bounds, be very careful, and I mean very careful because you could easily land in legal trouble later. It's very easy to cross the line when you have POA especially when someone has no guardian despite having Alzheimer's. Don't land yourself in hot water. I'm currently dealing with an investigation right now into the case of my bio dad who was defrauded and I've been doing some homework and studying about elder financial abuse since my findings surrounding my bio dad. This is basically just a general study and not necessarily a case specific. Things I have learned were very eye-opening and even to the point of being downright shocking. I also stumbled on another topic that was downright startling and ended up studying about predatory guardianship abuse. So far everything I've been learning has been very eye-opening and even shocking and until you've actually had your own discovery and your own case where you had to do an investigation and possible asset recovery, this is hard to realize when someone close to you has been not only targeted, but also taken for a very expensive ride. The sad part about it is family often does not find out about stuff until after that elder dies. It's not really a very good idea to open accounts in someone else's name no matter the purpose, especially if they're mentally incapacitated. Doing so is very bad taste and is often considered a sign of elder financial abuse. I don't know you or your real intentions, but the temptation of having this card is very high, and you run the risk of maxing it out and then having trouble paying it off. This can lead to risky behavior on your part knowing that card is in someone else's name who happens to be mentally incapacitated. This is a very bad idea and even if you have good intentions, someone else may not think so at some point and you can be reported to the APS. It's not worth the trouble you run a high risk of facing if caught.
From someone whose dad was defrauded, all I can do is firmly warn you don't do it, just don't do it. Just don't unless you really want to run the risk of some serious legal trouble later and if convicted of wrongdoing, you can spend some serious time in jail if not prison and made to repay that person's estate when they're gone. I'm just trying to keep you from running the risk of getting into some serious trouble later if this is discovered because it's very bad practice to open any accounts in the name of any mentally incapacitated person. It's just not worth it, just don't
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Most cards that offer FF miles as an incentive DO charge a fee. Hubby travels a ton, and when he had CORPORATE Amex, he didn't pay a fee, nor interest, but the entire amt was due every month. He did get to keep his FF miles for personal use, but SOME CC's will not allow anyone but the primary cardholder to use them. Have you checked on this? My FIL died with almost 350,000 in FF miles on his CC and they were NOT transferrable--even tho my hubby's name was also on the account.

The fees you're talking about are probably, what, $99 per year? That's not much. And if you're paying all the bills with one card, AND using FF miles, that's probably a pretty good deal.
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An entirely different way to go is a trust fund to pay his expenses. That could help to make him eligible for additional care.
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I use my Citibank Travel card because it provides free trip insurance when I travel if I charge to them, and that's worth much more than the annual fee. However, it's unlikely you father is going to be doing any traveling, and there is usually a fee to switch miles to another person.
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The most important guideline to keep in mind is never mingle his account with your personal charges, including which accounts are used to pay his bills. As a poa I only use the card in their name signing it with my name followed by poa for "and their initials". So I chose not to have a card added in my name. That way you are not going to be held responsible for clearing that debt personally other than as defined by the poa. FYI, this is true when signing any contracts for alf's etc. Follow your name by the Attorney in Fact / POA for "initials" ... And, when the POA has been submitted there should be no problem with closing the cc that has a fee. Negotiate first for a fee waiver under the circumstances and if not successful many banks out there offer online banking and a credit card can be applied for directly online.
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POA gives you latitude to do what is necessary to manage your father's finances. Assuming no issues on your father's credit report, you should be able to open a new credit account and close the existing one with no issues. Most of this can be done online anyhow - for myself personally, my wife and I have POA for her mother and she has zero interaction with technology, so it is simple to go online and act on her behalf.

Just be sure to have a copy of the POA in case anyone has questions about your actions.
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I am not sure I understand your dilemma. You want a no fee card so you have only one bill to pay? Is this correct? If so, are the frequent flyer miles important to you? If not, I would recommend either use them or forget them and get a new card. You are the customer, not the CC company. If the miles are important then more than likely you are stuck with what you have. Myself, I fail to see why one additional bill could be important unless it is causing a drain on finances. But then again I am not in your shoes. Good luck.
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