How can I take over paying my mother's bills as she is unable to do so herself?
We find that my mother cannot handle paying the bills on her own. She missed the electric bill, her insurance was about to be canceled, and she missed the deadline to getting her taxes in on time. She has the money to pay but my siblings and I want to take over the actual paying so that they are not burdened with this chore. What is the best way to start? They live in Florida and we in Connecticut.
The simplest and quickest way for you to assist your mother in paying her bills is to have her execute a Durable Power of Attorney, which is a document that will authorize you to act on her behalf in financial matters. The Durable Power of Attorney is drawn up by a lawyer on your mother's behalf and can be as broad or as limited as she wishes. This, of course, assumes that your mother wishes you to perform these services for her. If she does not wish to give you this authority and you believe she is incapable of managing her finances, you can petiton the court in your mother's home state to be appointed conservator of her estate which would give you the authority you seek. This, however, is a more time consuming and expensive alternative to using a Durable Power of Attorney.