I have a joint account with my mother. most of the money was deposited by my mother.Mom may have to go to a nursing home soon. What is the best way to pay down the money in her bank account which is also in my name?

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Nandina - couple of ?'s....
Are you anticipating that mom will be applying for Medicaid?
And if so, how soon at her present rate of spending on her home, her care, her needs or paying for a NH, will mom be at the "at need" & impoverishment level needed for Medicaid eligibility? 6 years from now or 6 months?!
And regarding the $, is moms share 51% or more like 99%?

The answers are going to make a difference IMHO as to how to approach this.

If Medicaid is anticipated, please please read up on how the program works and what will be required to be submitted for your mom to be eligible. Providing 5 years of financials in an shared bank account where things may have been & are still commingled could be a huge problem. If the $ is 99% mom and 100% used for mom direct needs, care or her property, then few problems. But if some of that $ is your own income or asset and you want to get it out before the Medicaid application, &/or you have spent some of the $ in moms account on your own debt as part of it was your $, then you will need an attorney to work through moms medicaid application as the $ is going to look like gifting which means transfer penalty by Medicaid.

Really whatever has her name on it is viewed by medicaid as 100% mom's and must be totally used for her care, her needs, her property only.

If your $ is still going into the account, you really need to stop doing that as its throwing off her true financial status as well. Only moms income and assets should be in her bank accounts. If you find that mom has run out of $ at the end of the month, don't put your own $ into her bank account but instead you just pay directly for whatever (groceries,utilities, rent, property taxes, etc ). If you need to be reinbursed, she can write you a direct match up check to you clearly indicating the store & receipt info - you must be OCD in keeping all the paperwork (like target #123455 03/09/16 pj's) as Medicaid could require all the details on why mom wrote checks to you and why they should not be a transfer penalty.

Now you as a signature on the account can write & sign to pay for whatever for mom's care, needs, property on her behalf on her checking account. You do need to always write checks for a business name whenever possible to lessen medicaid issues. So Joe Garcia Plumbing Co. instead of just Joe Garcia.

If moms account is not done POD -pay on death - to you, try to get that done as it will allow you to continue to use the funds after death for whatever costs come up for funeral floral, or other post death incidentals. Mom will need to go to the bank to do this, you cannot do it with just your dpoa, & exoect that mom will be asked apart from you by a ank officer as to whether shevwants to do this. Ask the bank if the account, once its POD, can become your executor account once mom dies & you will be doing probate. I did this with my moms checking account and it has made probate & estate / executor costs tracking super easy.
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Pay off all bills. Purchase a preburial plan. Buy new eye glasses. Document every transaction and keep all receipts. Do not write checks to yourself or for cash unless you can document what the money was used for. You can also use the money for caregiver services from outside agencies. The past five years of financial transactions and documentation is vital for qualifying for medicaid in a nursing home. You do not want to show any amount of what could be considered gifting. Do not co-mingle your finances with your mothers in that joint account. As a joint owner, you are allowed to write checks, but I would make sure it is for only the benefit of your mother and do not deposit any of your money into this account.
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