Can I remove my mother's access to our checking account?

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Hi, My mom has a spending problem. She buys things over the phone through Home Shopping Network and from catalogs. She's on Medicaid now and can't afford that, so it needs to stop. I have spoken with Comenity Bank, and she does have several charge accounts with them that she opened without my knowledge, and they have assured me that I can cancel those accounts simply by sending in my POA. I am listed on mom's checking account a joint account holder. I took her checks away some time ago, but she ordered more on her own without my knowledge, and also uses the account number to buy things over the phone. That needs to stop, too. BUT...I still need to conduct business on her behalf. Can I just have her check writing powers removed, or would it be best to close the account and open a new one?

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Dear Ribbman
I know this is hard. There is what we as caretakers are forced to deal with and there is what the law allows and sometimes it seems impossible to satisfy both.
You asked could you take her off the bank account. Talk to the bank and see what they suggest. They told you how to use your POA to close the extra accounts. Talk to an elder attorney and see what legal steps you can take. If your POA is a DPOA perhaps it is time to activate that as cmagnum suggested by talking to her doctor and having her declared incompetent. It is not against the law to spend all your money and not be able to pay for your housing. People do it everyday. If there is an annual fee, perhaps that should be taken out every week to pay the ALF fee from when it becomes due. If that is the major issue perhaps that would solve that problem. Make that account one that takes both your signatures to release funds from. I'm just brainstorming here but tell the bank what you are trying to accomplish and perhaps they can help you. There are many threads on this site dealing with parents ordering over the phone. I know it's a big problem. Perhaps if you read those you'll find better answers from others who have dealt with it.
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Has your mother seen a doctor who could declare her incompetent for going for guardianship sounds to me like the path for getting that much control.
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Well no, if her cash reserves are depleted the problem will not be over but will just be beginning. Right now she is on track for a major shortfall and will soon be unable to pay her share of her ALF fees. It's fine to say it's her money but she is my responsibility.
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If it's her money I'm not sure how you can legally keep it from her unless you are her guardian. I suspect if you canceled her cable she would reorder it. Then the catalogs are difficult to monitor. They keep coming. Taking away her phone isn't appropriate. If she is on Medicaid I assume she has limited money left in her account. When it's gone, that problem will be over. No one will want her business when her checks bounce. You are trying to control her. She is resisting. Maybe you could talk to her about setting up a portion for spending money and transfer that to a separate account for her use. When it's gone. It's gone until next month. Wish I had a better answer.
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Check with your bank - if it's your mother's account and you were added as a signer, you cannot always just remove her from the account without her permission. You also need to make sure it doesn't look like she is transferring assets to you if Medicaid gets involved.
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