My father in law lives in a nursing home and now my mother in law who was still living in their apartment will have to move into a board and care facility. With it being an apartment we will have to move her stuff out of there by the end of the month and I'm not sure what to do about the mail. Should we forward it to one of the facilities they are at (not even sure if you can do that), rent a PO box or have it forwarded to our address? What do you recommend? There are a lot of loose ends that we need to follow up on so we will need to keep track of the mail for awhile. I'm a little concerned about using our address as there are many delinquent bills that we are not responsible for but I know when creditors get a hold of your information they can be relentless.

baroness, I had all my parents mail forward to my own home address, bills and all. It just made life simpler for me. Relatives could still send cards directly to my Dad's facility. Mom, sadly was too far gone, so all her cards came to my house and I hand delivered them to Mom.

One time Dad would get his own mail, but once I found active bills and current statements in the wastebasket, I knew it was time for all mail to come to my home address.

Post office boxes can be a huge pain. My parents had one for about 40 years and when my parents could no longer drive, I use to go on my work lunch hour to gather their mail. "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds". Nothing like driving in heavy snow only to find junk mail in their Post Office box !!

What is nice, you can do the initial transferring on-line for a small one time cost.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to freqflyer

I had my Mom's mail forwarded to my address. She was sending out a lot of money to various charities. I cancelled all that. Other than that her bills were pretty standard. Utilities etc. Once it was determined that she would no longer be coming home I cancelled all of them. Gave one months notice, cleared her apartment out and that was that.
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Reply to Gershun

Have it delivered to your home. Just go to the post office and fill out a change of address card. Very easy and doesn't cost anything. Did this while mom was in a nursing home. She passed in June and I'm still getting her mail.
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Reply to DiamondAngel14

Forward the mail to your address, that way you can go through it and give them anything that you think they will want to see. Also, I know this sounds rough but after they pass you can notify debtors that they are deceased. Mail them a copy of their death certificate.
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Reply to Glendaj2

There are NO silly question here! You could forward the mail to your home. You can arrange this online. I sent out change of address notices as well. I made the new address. Mrs Mom, c/o me , 21 main st etc. If you have POA you could put POA after your name. If you are not POA and there is no POA, get thee to a lawyer now. Things will only get more complicated from here on in. If you don't have POA it will be impossible to handle things for them legally. (If you are not POA then it would be technically illegal for you to direct their mail anywhere. Shhhh I won't tell on you!) If you have a concern you could always get a PO box, they are not too expensive. Have one box for both of them. For an extra fee the US post office will once per week put the contents of the PO box in a box and mail it to you. So nice of them. Delinquent bills? I have collection agencies calling, writing me because I have the same last nane as the person they are looking for. Good luck with all the details. Take care of yourself. Come back here for any other questions, we love to help!
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Reply to Toadhall

I recommend the PO Box. I have used one for years. When she passes, you just close out the box. Easy-peasy.
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Reply to dragonflower

Well, the best way to know what is going on and convenience, is to have the mail forwarded to your address. Wherever you forward the mail, will not change the delinquency of any bill, nor resolve it. Best to address bills head on. Most of them will not go away unless the debtor deceases.
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Reply to Ricky6

That isn't a silly question at all. Forwarding to a local PO Box might be a great solution for you.

My husband was his mother's POA. When she became unable to handle her own affairs, we had her mail forwarded to us from the PO boxes she used. We changed addresses for the newspaper and magazine to have them sent straight to the nursing home. We directed friends and family to send personal mail to the nursing home too. Junk stuff we didn't inform of an address change, so when we close the PO boxes that will just disappear as far as we are concerned. Important things we changed to our home address. Sometimes that required sending a copy of the POA.

She recently passed but we haven't closed the boxes yet since we're still managing things.

It sounds like your parents need you to handle the delinquent bill situation for them. I don't mean pay with your own funds, but see about figuring out if the mess can be cleaned up. The reason we took over MIL's stuff is because we found out that she was spending money for various things instead of paying her bills. It took a few months to clean up the mess, but people were patient because we were actively working towards a solution and kept them in the loop, vs my MIL simply throwing bills away.
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Reply to Jbean1

Baroness - I’m a big fan of having postal mailing boxes as an alternative address no matter what.
Once you have the new rental box address, you do a change of address on all Dec. bills and mail it with a minimum payment or like $10.00 ck from their existing checking account to all creditors. For bills that your in-laws are going to walk on (delinquent & not getting paid), I’d suggest you in addition to doing a change of address on Dec bill, you like in January send all their creditors a notification to close out their account, it comes from whomever is dpoa but make sure you only do this typed and as “John james Smith in my limited capacity as DPOA for Mr. Michael John Smith or Mrs Ann Jones Smith”, in the closing, Don’t ever do an actual signature. These all get mailed certified mail with the return registered card from a USPO. On the RRC, you put the rented mail box as the address the RRC postcard goes to. The duet is like $8.00 and it establishes that creditors are notified to close accounts and you have the RRC card that verifies this. Start a binder to keep their debt stuff in.

my experience on renting mail boxes....
- regarding renting a PO Box, in order to do so wherever..... USPO, UPS, etc. - it will require you or hubs to open it in your /his name as you have to give valid, current instate drivers license to get one. If MIL is still competent and cognitive she can go with you all to do this, so she & you or she & hubs rent it.
- I’ve found a USPO has become pretty tight about adding names / delivering mail onto/into a box unless there’s a name match up. BUT if it’s rented in the name of a valid business, you can add whatever names as receiving mail at that address.
- USPO box has to be at the station associated with your drivers
license zip code, which may or may not be optimum for you. BUT
- USPO in most places have 24/7 access to postal boxes, which might be ideal for you as your free time is Sunday afternoon.
- UPS stores usually have mail box rental. These are franchise stores so could possibly close or have to move as shopping center they are in decides to kick out tenants & put in condos. If mail requires a signature for delivery, some UPS stores will not allow employe to sign off on these. So that type of mail gets returned. When their creditors stop getting paid, they will send out signature required letters eventually.
- Pack & Ship type of stores often have postal mailing box rentals. If you have a college or university in your town, likely to be one nearby. These are usually privately owned single location with owner there and reliable staff. Personally I’d go this route as you can develop a relationship with the owner and they call you when something interesting comes in or box is super full. These will usually sign off on delivery received for mailings.
- I’ve found UPS and PacknShip shops are more ahem... flexible as to the name on the mail. It’s all about the post mail box #.

Unless you plan on going weekly like clockwork, rent a bigger box and just pay for a full year from the get go. If your delinquent in paying, they have to close it & cannot just hold mail till whenever.

If your in laws are going to walk on debt and you start getting dunning calls & Letters, do a new post as many of us have been thru this. My mil had lots of debt cause once she went onto LTC NH Medicaid all bills stopped being paid. Medicaid requires basically all their income paid to NH. So everything hit debt collections relentless cycle & recycle. You’ll be super glad there’s a box rented for them & their debt. So it lessens commingling their debt to your address / your credit report.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to igloo572
qattah Dec 17, 2018
In the past, I have rented p.o. boxes for business and personal use. They wanted 2 forms of i.d. For personal use, I got the smallest box and it cost around $25.00 for 6 months. I recommend them.
I've forwarded all of my father's mail to my house, and have used my address as his mailing address on government forms (state ID form, handicap placard applications, etc.), although I list the address of his memory care facility as his physical address. Change of address form at the post office is all you should need. Do you have power of attorney? If so, you should pay the delinquent bills with their checking account (and better yet, get yourself on the account--makes life much easier).
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Reply to Weary418

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