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My dad had a stroke that cause memory loss. After several months, I was able to get him on disability. When he got his back pay, he spent it (over $20,000) at the "man's club". His mortgage goes unpaid, his car loan is behind, his medical insurance was dropped, etc. Now he spends every $ that comes into his account. I do have a POA. The bank will not stop giving him personal loans or a new debit card or restrict his use of his accounts. How do I take control so that I can make sure his medical insurance is paid and the mortgage?

Your advice is needed. Thanks.
 

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Can you have him declared mentally incompetent?
 

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Someone may know more than me I'm sure but if he's not that bad I don't think you can.
 

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Abase, I have several family members with dementia, so I know how it works in Belgium, but I am not from the USA, so legislation is completely different. The following are just suggestions or possibilities of where I live, maybe something else will work in the USA too.

1. It is possible to have someone declared mentally incompetent, as suggested above. For this go to a sollicitor, take as much info with you and ask what they can do for you.
2. How close are you to your bank. We have a bank we all do business with in the family and if something like this happened, I would have the mortage on auto withdrawal. The fact all mortgages are with that bank is a help though. Can you make an appointment at the bank, with some medical paperwork and some proove (on a need to know basis) so that they can see if they can make it auto withdrawal for you? Any possibility of doing something similar with medical insurance? Maybe go to the disability office and have it taken out automatically? This is probably going to take less time than taking full power.
3. As I have a feeling the bank might not be the bank that has a brain, will the personal loans come back to haunt someone else than your dad? If not, will it damage his finances more than it already did? What I mean is, if they are so stupid that after you have given them any info you wanna share and they still loan money to him, let them face the consequences if it doesn't ruin any family members.
4. I am pretty sure that here unless you are declared fully or partially mentally incompetent it is not possible to block someone from having a debit card or restrict the use of accounts. Yes, this is a different country so double check it with an attorney, but it wouldn't be my primary focus.
5. You do have a POA, that is power of attorney right? By life or by death. Because I don't know how much you would be with a POA for when he is death in this situation. It might help getting payments made anyhow, but there is no guarantee.

All in short, talk to the providers that deliver the essential services and see what they can do and talk to a lawyer. Good luck
 

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Has he always been fairly good with money up until now? The stroke has probably affected his judgment or he could be going through a "screw it, I cannot take it with me may as well spend it" moment after such a close call.

Perhaps he will let you take the steps to be added to his account so that you can make sure the essentials are paid or maybe not. After that you could probably seek to have him declared incompetent through the probate courts but having seen what happened with my MIL when this happened, be prepared that you may need to deal with two separate lawyers (one for you and one for him), gathering all paper evidence you can and medical evaluations and statements from the doctor(s). It is not an easy process and not an easy decision to make particularly if your father still is reasonable in other aspects of his life and ability to care for himself. Best of luck to both of you in whatever you decide.
 
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