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I am Mom's financial p.o.a., along with my brother. Mother added me as a signer on her checking account years ago. She became completely incapacitated last winter, then recovered somewhat and is now in AL. It is around 5000 a month. Her income is 3500 a month. She had 22,000 in checking when I took over, and has over 300,000 in savings. I want to keep her checking balance above 15,000 and because of her expensive dental work that she's having done, I had to transfer 10,000 from her savings to checking. She knows that I can access her banking accounts on line logged in as her. But she keeps commenting that she can't believe her checking account is stretching so far. I have kept receipts of all spending from her checking account, to the penny, should I ever be questioned. She is very frugal and I feel it would upset her if she knew her savings had been accessed. She does not know exactly how much her AL costs, I just assure her that it's ok and she can afford it. I have not spent any of it on anything other than her, with the exception of a tank of gas she wanted to buy me one day when I was driving her around. I saved that receipt and filed it with the others. My brother tells me to just keep doing what I'm doing so that she does't worry about stuff. She is 85 . Somehow I just keep hearing that question "what could go wrong?" BTW brother is not actively involved with her finances, he is in another county taking care of our 93 yr old dad. She is aware that her living costs exceed her income, but she is not aware that I can access her savings. Tell her or not?

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I don't tell my mom anything about her finances. All of the bills come to me and I take care of everything. I used to keep my brother informed about my parents' finances, but finally realized he didn't care (he has enough money that he didn't care about an inheritance) so I also quit telling him. If my mom knew, she'd worry and there's just no reason to put her through that. So I vote for keeping it to yourself and your brothers. Distract mom when she starts to ask and just keep good records.
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FF, if Medicaid is a future possibility, it's always good to pay everything directly from their account. Reimbursing yourself after you pay makes the paper trail sloppy, and you'll have to keep all the receipts. For most things I charge it to my mother's card, then pay her card out of her checking account each month. It's easy to see at a glance what the money went for. Saves me a lot of record keeping.
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Jessie, I still worry that Medicaid could be in my Dad's future as his physical health is pretty good and he's in early stage of memory loss. Wouldn't be surprised if he lives to be 100.

With the cost of elder care and supplies going up every year, I am worried that Dad might need a higher level of care later on, such care is very expensive in my area.
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Your mother made you her financial POA - this means she trusts you to do the right thing. Sounds like you are also being trusted to pay some or all of her bills, using her checking account that she authorized you to use. In the bigger picture I'd say your mom trusts your judgement. If you believe it will upset her, don't tell her. Really, since it doesn't sound like money is an issue regarding her current care - what would be the point? I think it's a good idea that you continue to tell your brother when you move money around even if he says it's not necessary and I'd even make a note of it somewhere that you did notify him along with date/time etc. - just a little CYA that you'll probably never need but good to have just in case you do.
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Even though I told my mom of any transfer of funds while she was at home - she has not asked about her checkbook since the move to a facility 5 months ago so if your mom is not asking then don't offer it up - just keep good records

I'm extremely worried about her savings not lasting long enough and she would flip if she knew the cost of the facility let alone the private caregivers for 12 hours a day
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She's 89 with vascular dementia. Her memory is faulty, but is still there.
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JessieBelle- I'm sure I could find where you mention it but thought it would be easier to just ask - if you don't mind - how old is your mother? I do have a comment for this thread but gotta get the Rainman started on the bedtime rituals.
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I live with my mother, so I always let her know if I'm transferring money from savings to checking. I let my brothers know when there is a big bill, too. I know my mother might not remember it, but it's okay. I'm not POA. I just manage her money. I pay things directly from her account, so there won't be a question of transferring her money to my personal account. I try to keep the paper (or should I say electronic) trail simple. FF, your father has a good bit of money, so I doubt Medicaid will be in his future. My mother is comfortable, but NHs cost a lot. Her nest egg could disappear before her time here is finished.
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Its a tough situation. We had the same issue with Mom, except it sounds like your mother is not quite at the level of dementia my mother was. When Mom couldn't balance her checkbook and was "figuring" all the time on any piece of paper she had, sis and I got her to add our names to both her savings and checking account. I took over and all her bills were mailed directly to me.

We gave her a separate checking account with a little bit in it but she only used it for the hairdresser. She periodically obsessed about money and we did our best to distract and assure her all was fine, but we never let her see a bank statement or a bill. As time went it it proved to be a good move because she lost all concept of how much things cost.

When she went into AL, we needed to withdraw from her savings to supplement her SS and pension each month. We never told her that, or how much AL, and then the NH cost. She would have totally freaked out.
Her dementia made her really paranoid about money, but letting her wonder about it once in a while, since we could distract her, was better than if she found out how expensive her care was.

If you can get away without telling your mother, it might be better than upsetting her. But, you know best how she might react one way or the other and whether you can get away with hiding it from her.

My sister is one of those people who can't stand to tell even a "little white lie" and a couple of times (about other things) she was too truthful with Mom. Every time Mom really got upset and obsessed for weeks. Sis never quite accepted that she could not reason with Mom and always expected her to act rationally once things were "explained" to her. It doesn't work that way with dementia.
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kwyattearp, if you have been managing your Mom's financials as financial POA there shouldn't be a need to tell your Mom what funds are being transferred.

My Dad was also very frugal and he would fret at seeing the bill for Assisted Living and the bill for the caregivers.... so I slowly stopped having the facility and agency send him a duplicate of the bills. I had wanted to keep Dad in the loop, but now I see it is not to his advantage. He's happier not knowing. I do have one advantage, my late Mom always had taken care of the bills, so Dad was rarely involved.

Any time Dad starts to worry about his portfolio I keep reassuring him that is looking great, he doesn't need to worry, he can stay in Assisted Living for as long as he wants. I also keep receipts for everything, especially bills that I pay from my checking account and reimburse myself from Dad's checking.
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We did not discuss all the financial details with mom once she was in AL, she would not remember them correctly. All her statements went to us. We just made sure she had $1 bills for bingo and we paid the hairdresser once a month.
The first month, she had $600 in cash, spent it all and could not tell us how.
After that, she got $40 in small bills and we explained that was safer than keeping a lot of money around.
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