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My 73yo Mother has Advanced Alzheimer's, and Her significant other of 20+ years has by default taken on the roll of caregiver over the past year. I've come to the realization that not only has he been improperly caring for Her, he has also become overwhelmed, and has refused many attempts (by me) in convincing him that having a part time caretaker/respite care are essential to not only the well being of my Mother, but to himself. He has become very resentful of me, even though, in my free time (normally 2 times per week) from work and life's necessary functions for my own & my Husbands daily lives, and reminds me in a sarcastic and patronizing way as to; "How much fun it is around here 24hrs per day, 7 days per week." and I remind him, that there is help available out there that I can set up for him, and he barks back at me: "I DON'T HAVE $300 OR WHATEVER DOLLARS IT COSTS TO HAVE SOME PERSON COME IN HERE FOR 2 OR 3 TIMES A D*MN WEEK!!" and I told him, that I never asked *HIM* to pay for it, that Mom would be paying for it, as for the fact that Mom's monthly income (pension from the county: $1,231 & SSA: $1,258. Total monthly: $2,489) has not changed. (he brings in SSA: $1,814 per month only) He then of course *YELLS* at me and gets completely irate saying: "THAT IS **OUR** MONEY! WE SHARE A BANK ACCOUNT!!" And I return with: "I understand you share bank accounts, and have for many many years, but Her income is still HER income, and needs to be used for Her care." He did not want to hear it. They are both on the title of their paid off house they both currently reside in, and also no car payments, nor any other debt that I am aware. They also do not, nor have ever had any social/extracurricular activities outside the home. There is $20k in their checking, and $7k in their savings. There is a problem in the fact that their grocery spending (which is fully controlled by him) is completely out of control! (average: $1,400 per month) and their cigarette spending = average: $600 per month... COMPLETE mismanagement!! Their health costs are minimal. Anyway, after tonight's huge meltdown by him, I have decided it's time to take action, and begin steps in controlling my Mother's income and outcome, and take the necessary steps in getting Her into an appropriate Memory Care Facility. I DO have Medical and Durable POA of my Mom. What steps do I need to take in building a separate bank account for Her? Any action by me in this matter is not expected to go smoothly with him for sure.

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It's best to have an attorney handle this situation.
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Good idea. If Moms pension and SS are direct deposit than maybe you can set up a new acct and notify SS and her pension people with new acct info. But first you need to see a lawyer about a conservatorship. I will be doing this or my nephew 's government annuity.
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See a lawyer ASAP to get this situation untangled. Even if they are not married, there will be arguments over assets.
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Is she declared incompetent, if not, DPOA is useless. As for the boyfriend, they have been together over 20 years and during that time you do not know all of the financial aspects of the situation. He has been her caregiver for at least the last year and you state you have obligations so your only available twice a week...what do you actually do for her? Sorry but I get a little tired of hearing about his money and her money when they have been together for so long from people who pop in and try to run things without doing any of the hands on care.
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Hubby's SS was electronically deposited in our joint account for years but I was changing banks. In order to change the deposit account I had to go to SS office, apply to be his "representative payee" even though I have DPOA, be approved as "representative payee", open an account in HIS name alone (not a joint account) with my name on it as "representative payee", bring them the new bank information, and only THEN would they change the deposit account. They told me straight up that they didn't recognize POA. Also I have to fill out papers once a year saying it's all spent on him or saved for him, and I have to be able to prove it if they ask. I suppose I could have just left it alone but once I started it there really wasn't any way out...I'm not a lawyer but my understanding of joint account is that either owner can take all the money out and close the account, at least that's been the case with the various joint accounts we've had over the years. Unless the account has some sort of feature preventing this, which I've never heard of. I mean, that's the point of the joint account! I agree that getting legal advice is #1.
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It would help if you had DPOA for her finances as well. Even so, he obviously is dependent on some portion of your mom's income, thus the panic on his part. The anger is a means to scare you off from managing your mom's finances or getting involved. I know an elderly couple in the same situation right now he's dependent on her and trying to keep her family from getting involved. I would go to another bank, not where they currently bank, open a new account in your mom's name with you as beneficiary, they may ask for DPOA papers. Leave mom's old account as is, have mom's ss or whatever she receives transferred to her new account. I doubt you can do this without POA finance, but you can try, it might work if you're only a beneficiary on the account. If you do it at the same bank they currently do business with, he can still get access to her account so go to a different bank. After this, you'll be able to manage their funds, it also put you in a position to deal with him daily, does he have children? Really they should be stepping in to care for their dad at some point. If he as kids even alienated ones, I would contact them to step in and take care of him, if they do, it'll take some of the grief off your back. Good luck.
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Community property does not apply here as Arizona does not recognize common law marriages.
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Arizona is a community property state, by the way.
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I stand corrected; GSA makes some very good points about verifying the funds, whether his or hers. You might have to get printouts of deposits from the bank and spend some time sorting this out.

She also makes a good point about his possible attempts to withdraw and shield the funds if he suspects you may take action.
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Smoking. Sorry no spell check.
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Since she has advanced Alzheimer's and you're the proxy under a DPOA, I would think that if it's provided in that document, you could begin segregating her funds and set up a separate account for her. However, based on your description of the BF, you'll have to be very careful to remove only her funds. I would speak with a banker about how to do this carefully to protect her funds.

Another question is the issue of joint ownership of the house. That's more problematic, especially if she ever does need Medicaid, and since they're co-habiting and not married. I don't know what AZ laws might be on this, or whether it's a community property state. This is an area where a good, qualified elder law attorney is necessary, as Barb suggests (for other issues as well).
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Barb is right. Social Security will NOT recognize your power of attorney to change the account that her funds go to. You would have to be a representative payee, and her Alzheimers sounds too far advanced to take her to an SSA office to change it. The BF's panic probably stems from the fact that their household is based on both incomes to remain afloat, and he has no protections other than the fact that the bank accounts are titled in both names and his name is on the house. You do understand that you cannot just take money out of the bank - checking and savings - without verifying whose money it is? The problem with joint accounts is just that - both parties have an equivalent right to the money. Get to a lawyer now - because the BF may empty the accounts once he figures out that you are seeking guardianship and that the monies will have to be accounted for. Likewise the pension funds. And by the way, Medicaid will look back 5 years on spending for her assets. Be prepared to have to get a lawyer involved to get those records for the boyfriend. And many Memory Care places will not allow smooking or she will be restricted to $60 per month for incidentals (like cigarettes) on Medicaid. Lawyer familiar with Medicaid in your state, not just elder care. By the way, if she is incontinent, that may be part of the groceries expense. Wishing you luck on this journey.
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See an eldercare attorney ( paid for out of mom's funds). This will be the best investment you can make, as it sounds as though you may need to seek guardianship and get her started on the spend down for Medicaid eligibility.
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