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Mom has me listed on checking account and now have POA finances. MOM in AL 1 1/2 month now...my disabled brother who has helped my Mom and she helped him lives in her house...How do I sign checks for household bills
and AL bills? Lots of bills each month. I feel like I could use an accountant, between hospital bills from the last 9 months and all my Mom's finances...and also house expenses which brother pays for part of with the little he gets a month. Any suggestions on how to keep organized? BILLS, BILLS, BiLLS, who said getting old was the golden age....IT IS THE AGE OF BEING ROBBED OF ANYTHING YOU HAVE LEFT.

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I am joint on my mother's account, but my name is not on her checks, my choice. The one time I signed a check, I signed my name with "POA" after my signature. I am her durable power of attorney. I do not co-mingle my money with my mother's.
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I always signed on Mom's checks, and it was V--- Stefans, POA for Jean Harrison.

Hospital bills were my Mom and Dad's biggest mess too. My mom probably paid thousands that she did not owe, because so many come through straight to you before insurance has paid and they had a screwy situation with dad's work-related insurance which was a coordinated program between BC/BS and Medicare and not on the usual web sites. Its a lot of work, but it is one of the greatest services you can provide to your loved one when they can't do it themselves. I only wish my Mom had gotten help with it BEFORE she took out a home equity loan and was unable to navigate my Dad's second Medicaid application...we'd have had about 14k more funding for her care and I wouldn't have been on the phone with an appeals hearing officer while I was on call for the inpatient unit where I work!
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In the last 2 months I have become POA/finances and POA/health for mom and payee for disabled brother. Also yesterday mom put in geriatrics behavior unit again while I had just moved her into AL. Mom also still has house disable brother lives in.
So I have to coordinate those bills. Hospital bills from last 8 months are none stop
because mom in and out of several hospitals....Mom ANxiety, depression, dementia and ALZ alwithin the last few months and several different meds and doctors, hospitals....Mom has become a fourth class citizen with no control and
absolutely miserable..This was an high functioning independent person only a few months ago handling her own affairs not owing any debt. ANy advice? What is going to happen next?
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Just went to the bank. If they have seen the poa, you sign your own name followed by p.o.a.
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Thank you for posting this question. I am on my mom's checking account too and this was a recent change for her, so her checks are still just with her name on them and I have been just signing her name. Thank you for the information, AKdaughter! I will do it the right way going forward.
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If you are a joint owner of the checking account, you can sign your own name. If your mother is the sole account owner, you sign as POA. According to my bank, the correct way to do this is "Jane Smith, POA for Mary Smith" (you being Jane). It is not legal to sign anyone's name other than your own. I was once told to sign a check "Mary Smith by Jane Smith, POA, but I have since learned that this is not legal as I would be signing another's name.

I am a joint owner on my mom's checking account just to make it easier to pay bills (otherwise I would need to carry POA paperwork all the time and show it every time I write a check), but I keep only enough to pay the monthly bills in this account, and NEVER mingle any of my personal funds. All savings accounts, CDs, etc are titled in my mom's name with me as POA.

I have separate folders and a separate small filing cabinet for my mom's stuff. I keep anything with tax consequences in a folder marked "taxes" which makes it easier come filing season. I also have folders marked "banking", "medical" and "misc".
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Easiest way is to handle paying the bills is online, easy and efficient. You can set up AL as monthly debit, payee, or however your bank does that. On your joint account, if you debit online it doesn't matter whose card you use, your mother's or yours. If you right a check on a joint account, it doesn't matter if you sign your name, or sign it as your name, POA for your mother's name. Brother can give you money and you give a receipt if necessary, he can write you a check and reference reason why on check. I set my mother's NH as a payee on her bank account, so each month I just go online and pay the bill, have not to date had to bother about haggling with the bank over poa red tape.
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When you sign taxes, you will need to sign her name and write by your name, POA. You need to contact the IRS about getting a special code (I forget the name of it) which you use when signing your mother's tax return. They will need a copy of your POA to verify that you have such authority.
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You sign your name as you are already listed on the checks. I was in the same situation while my mother was alive.
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Do I sign checks as agent or as myself since I am already listed on checks?
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Sign the checks with the same signature you gave the bank. Usually that is your full name. Easy filing is the classic American shoebox method. Write the date you paid it on the part of the bill you keep, and toss into shoebox. Each year start with an empty shoebox. Learn to pay bills online using the bank website if you feel up to it. Never use cash! Never write a check to yourself! Your brother should have his own separate box. At the end of the year you can sort things to do taxes.
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