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Bill collectors are calling my mother in hospital! My sister has financial power of attorney but it is supposed to kick in when my mom is "incapacitated" - my mom is confused a lot of the time, but is not 100% incapacitated. Do we have to get her doctor to declare her incapacitated?


Last, any tips on how to do this compassionately would be appreciated. We just want to keep the creditors from fleecing her with late charges and higher interest rate tiers kicking in, and we don't want her to have to worry about this.

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My 75 year old dad got himself into financial trouble. He was calling me & asking me for money. So I asked him if he would like me to take over paying his bills. Luckily he (happily) agreed. I told him to just put everything in a shopping bag & I would deal with it.

Since your mom still likes to be in control perhaps you could offer to "help" her with her bills? Perhaps sit together & do them?

I also had to contact all my dad's creditors (by certified mail) and told them to stop contacting him per the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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"Mom, Sis just helped me set up my bills on a computer system the bank offers for free. It automatically pays my bills out of my checking account! It is absolutely awesome. I don't have to remember which day the water bill is due or when to pay the trash collector. I even set up my charge card to be paid the minimum every month automatically. I try to remember to go in every month and pay the full amount, but if I'm a few days late doing that at least I don't get a late fee. I wish I had done this years ago. Sis is so smart! I think she should set this up for you, too. It would be much less hassle and she could print out a statement every month so you can see how it is going."

The easiest thing would be to talk her into it. No proof of her competence or lack thereof needed, minimal effort for POA after it is set up, and the problem of dunning calls solved.

For heaven's sakes, don't offer to take over her finances! Don't say you are going to pay all her bills. Don't imply she can't take of it herself. Just offer to set things up on the bank's free computer program so she can join the 21st century.
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I'm trying to figure out how they are calling her at the dang hospital! If it;s her cell phone.. block the calls. She doesn't need this now!
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One doesn't need to be "incapacitated" in order to take over their billing and finances. There are young healthy people who can't pay their bills on time, they are too busy doing other things.

My Dad brought home the paycheck and my Mom was the caretaker of paying all the bills, and keeping a monthly budget. Thus, when Mom passed Dad was totally lost on what to do and I found out by seeing over-due bills in the paper recycling. Say what? I figured at 94 there is no way I am going to teach Dad how to manage the bills, so I gathered up everything and am now doing it myself. And it is consuming a lot of my time, as things weren't filed in the right files, etc.

How to take over the finances from Mom.... just tell Mom that she will have one less thing to worry about, that you will be writing your checks and mailing them out when the bills come in. If you live under another roof then your Mom, have all her mail sent to your house, that way you can see what bills come in.
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Sis needs to use her POA to get control of the finances one way or the other. For example, my dad has dementia but is not legally incompetent but I had to sort of sneakily get control of the bills and finances. He thinks mom takes care of it now.

Do what you have to do. Fib a little, give her some fake stuff to deal with, intercept the mail, have her sign checking account paperwork "Just in case she needs help". But remember, your family is not responsible for her bills or debt. Tell the collectors to F off. Don't agree to anything with them. They are just hired gun-scumbags who get a percentage of the take. Get an attorney if it's really bad and forward all letters and bills to them.
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You need two MD's either psychiatrists or neurologists to test her and declare her incapacitated.
Bill collectors should not call her in the hospital. Take the phone away so she can get some rest.
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