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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a credit card company that my mom has a debt with call me today.They want her to give me power of attorney,I send them the payment every month.I dont know what has changed there, he wouldnt talk to me.She has told them several times they can tell me her buisness.I do have to pay all her bills and take care of it all.Mom is almost 86 she is blind and really dosent care if her bills are paid at all.Its really hard to make her social security check cover her bills.She does owe several cc companys,I have even gone to court with her on one account,I told them what she could pay each month,they were satisfied with it and I never heard from them again,I just mail the payment.
She gave my brother and me the 1 acre property& house over 20 years ago,it is recorded at the court house.It is in the deed that it will be her home until she passes,the county or state has been paying her taxes since she became a senior citizen years ago.She set that up.
Over the years one brother has built on this acre and another is building soon,one asked the other didnt.
Guess what I really need to know is if I do have power of attorney will I have to pay off all her bills when she is gone?I do hope she will be with us many more years,her health has declined rapidly in the past year.I really need some advice.
 

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Having power of attorney over your mother DOES NOT mean you are personally liable for any of her debts. You should have POA if you're handling her affairs. Having POA makes it possible for you to legally conduct her business. Fewer and fewer companies can talk about her affairs with you without a POA. For the record, the second a person dies, the POA is no longer valid.
 

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What David said is right on the mark. However, it wouldn't hurt for her to also have a Last Will & Testament, as well -- that will kick in, in place of the POA, once she has passed.

MaryNY
 

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Does she have a checking account? Do you use your money to pay your bills or her or partly her money? How does she give you her money for that?

You need POA to be free to call and discuss her bills with them- otherwise they only do so illegally or erroneously thinking you are her. You need or should have POA to write checks on her account. If now you write them but she signs them, if she got ill or was in NH incompetent it would be hard to do the same- the bank might even refuse to accept her signature if they hear she is incompetent until you get a POA from the court since she will no longer be fit to give you the POA under her own authority so to speak.

Pretty sure you would not hold bag for her bills but not certain. Definitely don't put your name on her accounts though- better POA to have the same freedom to discuss them without the responsibility. Especially with so many others in her life- you say nothing bad about your brothers etc. but enough of us have told us here about family members who run up bills on grandma or take from her the car/ appliances etc. paid for by the complaining poster. Don't want to be responsible for your brother's phone or credit bill if your mom truly or not actually permitted him to use her phone or credit card a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jenn said:
Does she have a checking account? Do you use your money to pay your bills or her or partly her money? How does she give you her money for that?

You need POA to be free to call and discuss her bills with them- otherwise they only do so illegally or erroneously thinking you are her. You need or should have POA to write checks on her account. If now you write them but she signs them, if she got ill or was in NH incompetent it would be hard to do the same- the bank might even refuse to accept her signature if they hear she is incompetent until you get a POA from the court since she will no longer be fit to give you the POA under her own authority so to speak.

Pretty sure you would not hold bag for her bills but not certain. Definitely don't put your name on her accounts though- better POA to have the same freedom to discuss them without the responsibility. Especially with so many others in her life- you say nothing bad about your brothers etc. but enough of us have told us here about family members who run up bills on grandma or take from her the car/ appliances etc. paid for by the complaining poster. Don't want to be responsible for your brother's phone or credit bill if your mom truly or not actually permitted him to use her phone or credit card a lot.
She did get one card with my name on it so I almost have it paid off,she just didnt have the money.Years ogo the cc companys would call and give her cards she just wouldnt say no.I told her not to have my name on anything.
My brothers take care of their own bills,they just needed a place to build,the old homestead (what is left of it)will always be a home for any family member who needs a place to stay.All her cards have been cancelled,and she finally realizies she cant go in debt now.I am thinking the boys will have to pay the taxes when she is gone,it may be in my name but they live there.The taxes are less than 100.00 per year I cant see it being a problem between 3 men.Surely together they could come up with that.
I dont have my name on her checks,sometimes she will bounce them,knowing it will cost 25.Some family members give her money sometimes but would rather just buy what she needs or pay a bill.She has a habit of handing the money to one DB who lives with her.He dont worry about paying her back.
 

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You and your mother need to go have a long talk with an attorney about planning for the rest of her life and for her passing. What you don't know can be big trouble.
 

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The POA is so that the CC company is legally "allowed" to talk to you -- it doesn't matter what she TELLS them, they need that legal document to cover their butts.

And I would check, but the taxes may well have gone up if your brothers have built other homes and structures on the property. And I would also be very, very sure that they can live there and build there and the state still pay your mom's taxes as a senior citizen -- I'm not sure that that applies if your brothers have separate homes on the property. The last thing you want is the state coming back on YOU for years and years of back taxes because your brothers didn't check into the tax ramifications of building on the family homestead land.
 

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TnMtngirl.
In your original post you mentioned that "the state pays her county and state taxes, since she was a senior citizen". How does that work?
You might want to double check that. She could owe back taxes and you may not know it.
 

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You NEED that POA immediately and you also need to check that tax situation. MOst states just freeze the taxes at a certain age, NOT pay the tax for the property owner. Your brothers building on the property will CERTAINLY raise the taxes on the property and from what you have posted I wouldn't count on them paying anything towards that tax increase.
 

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Check out suzeorman.com. I found out a wealth of information about wills and such. Yes, you can have POA but your mother needs a will. Otherwise the state will decide what to do with her property, not her.
 
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