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She is 83 and has dementia. I am the only child and she lives with me.

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If mom is still competent, and that can be a very subjective term, she will need to cooperate and agree to grant you POA and sign all the necessary banking authorizations for you.

last resort is guardianship/conservator process but that costs money and takes time. I had POA for my folks and that worked well for most stuff for several years but I had to go the guardianship route about a year ago due to one poop head bank and some real estate issues.
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Reply to Windyridge
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NeedHelpWithMom Aug 14, 2019
That’s a shame it gets so complicated. It does get sticky even with credit cards. I ordered a bedrail for mom’s bed using her credit card with my prime amazon account to receive the free shipping. They would not fill that order because it wasn’t my card. I had to call her bank and get mom to okay a card in my name to finish the order.

My mom is one that they don’t make a penny off of because she has never, ever had a balance on her card. She rarely uses it and pays in full as soon as bill arrives. She’s always done that.

The bank wouldn’t allow the order to be processed. They detected it as a ‘fraud’ charge. Good in one way, bad in another I suppose, making it inconvenient.

They only sent my card one time. When her card expired, mine was not automatically renewed. I have no idea how that particular process works.
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As an only child myself, I would be glad to chime in here. You probably need these following documents which have been immensely helpful for me:

1. Will
2. Trust - you listed as Trustee
3. Health Care Proxy - you listed as person to consult if your parent cannot make decision on their own behalf
4. MLEST form - some hospitals recognize this more seriously then just a Health Care Proxy form. Ask your doctors about this. At least this is true in New York State. In the Health Care Proxy form and MLEST form, designate here if your parent is DNR or not.
5. As for your mother's bills, it helps a lot if your name is also on the checking and savings account. That helps you easily write checks to pay the bills, etc.
6. Power of Attorney form - very important and kind of the umbrella form you need for the rest of this.

Don't laugh but keep all of these forms together in a binder and carry this binder with you. You never know when you need to whip it out. And also hang up a copy of the Health Care wishes on the fridge.
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Reply to Dixiedoodle
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What stage of dementia? If mild you might still have time, but all legal paperwork must be completed when your mom is still of sound mind.
You will need Power of Attorney (medical and financial), HIPAA, and any advanced care directives (DNR, living will, POLST forms) prepared with your mother's consent. If she can no longer consent I think your only option is guardianship.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/getting-your-affairs-in-order-preparing-for-the-possibility-of-dementia-149572.htm
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Reply to Caring4Alice
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Here you go, this seems to explain the process really well -

https://www.nccourts.gov/help-topics/guardianship/guardianship

How advanced is your mother's dementia, though? If she is not as yet too badly affected, it may be possible for her to give you Power of Attorney which is simpler and cheaper but requires her to understand fully what she is doing.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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