Jump to content

Menu

Handling mail for your aging loved ones


PeterPan
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm sure this is obvious and I'm just missing it. My dad is going into assisted living again, though a different one, and we are at the point of saying his important mail should go to us instead. How do I DO this? I'm just having a little mental gap here. I am his POA and have the documents. Do I call each business, say this is the scoop, send them a pdf of the POA? Does he have to be on the phone and authorize this? Will it vary? I think someone here said credit card companies are death on that and have hoops. What about insurance, gov't stuff, etc.? He's just honestly stressed about the amount of stuff coming to his residence. A lot has been junk mail, which I've been working to cut down. Now I'm down to the bills and deciding what should go to him and what shouldn't. I think there are two things he could continue to receive (statements on his investments and the monthly statement on his small spending account), but all the rest needs to start coming to us. He now needs help with his taxes. But how does that work if you're making his mailing address one thing and his legal address in a different state??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is stupid. The BMV will let you change your mailing address online but not the legal. He has a driver's license till 2025 but no longer drives. Is it ok to let it go? They're saying you have to show up in 30 days, which he CANNOT DO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the short term -- Can you just do a change of address with USPS? Like when you move? Make your address his new/forwarding address. It can be done online. IIRC, and if it hasn't changed, that's good for a year, which will give you time to work through getting individual things changed.

Edited by Pawz4me
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he is able, I would call each together when you are with him and have him authorize the address change. That way you can navigate the menu/getting a real person and he can make the change. Have the new address on a paper so he can read it. 

 

We let mom's DL expire and took her to get a state id when we could. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sure others will come along with MUCH more info, but we've BTDT and wanted to quickly reassure you:

With POA document for finances, that person has all the authority needed to conduct business on behalf of the individual.
We had to get an extra amendment to cover real estate transactions.
Use that PDF of the POA doc to easily send to businesses you can deal with online.

We moved all bill-paying online and auto-pay, choosing to use his debit card as payment method.
We went in person to the bank, but they, too, readily accepted the POA document.
Yes, the credit card companies were a pain. 
So one of them I still call to pay on the phone each month, since they won't give me online access.

 

We continue to find past due bills that we were unaware of . . . you just pay them, and apologize.
Just about every customer service rep will say, "Yeah, that's what happened with MY folks . . . ."

We use a CPA for their tax returns, & this CPA has authority to file both in their original home state & their new home state.
The reference address is ours. 
POA means you sign all the documents on his behalf.

Again, others will have more info, but I wanted to reassure you that you can do all you need to . . . with that POA document in hand.
Consider designating a specific email address to handle all of the inquiries.

 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 minutes ago, Pawz4me said:

Can you just do a change of address with USPS?

Yeah, the warned us not to do that because he gets so much junk mail. We're trying to keep his address away from them, lol.

16 minutes ago, LifeLovePassion said:

We let mom's DL expire and took her to get a state id when we could. 

Ok

So I'm 20 minutes in and I THINK I may have done most of it!! I didn't realize how many things we had set up online accounts for over the last few years as I've been helping him. I banged out several that way and have 2 or 3 calls to make. And it turns out these places almost all distinguish mailing addresses and physical or legal addresses. So I think if I set up one more online account (which I can't do till I'm with him because he has the phone associated with the account) and make thee last couple calls, I could be done! That was WAY easier than I anticipated, mercy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Beth S said:

We moved all bill-paying online and auto-pay, choosing to use his debit card as payment method.

Oh foo, you're right. His bills are on autopay (we did that several years ago) but I'm not on the accounts to talk with them. Hmm. It's mainly his cell bill, and that's something we can solve together. 

 

2 minutes ago, Beth S said:

Yes, the credit card companies were a pain. 
So one of them I still call to pay on the phone each month, since they won't give me online access.

Yup, I'm going to try to set up online accounts for those to make it easier.

3 minutes ago, Beth S said:

We use a CPA for their tax returns,

Happily the guy he had been using (CPA firm) is TERRIFIC. I helped him finish out this year. What I don't know is what myraid documents come in the mail for those and how to make sure they go to me. Oh dear, that means I didn't do this totally correctly. I think I have some to fix, oops. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So glad to see you've had success this morning!
There is indeed a steep learning curve . . . but then, one by one, the issues get resolved.
You're doing great!

 

Edited by Beth S
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just be aware that the POA does not cover anything federal, so he needs to be on the phone for social security and if he gets any military/VA benefits.

I went through this with my Mom just last year.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

Yeah, the warned us not to do that because he gets so much junk mail. We're trying to keep his address away from them, lol.

 

When I did this for my mother the junk mail stopped completely. USPS won’t forward it, and it stopped coming to her home mailbox. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My dad only lives 10 minutes from me so I can pick up his mail when I visit him.

But...I have on-line access to everything, which he knew I was setting up.  I went to on-line statements that I check, I pay his bills by on-line bill paying through his checking account, and I have as many bills as I can either paid with autopay or charged to his credit card, which is paid on auto pay.

I have just started getting transactional authority over his accounts.  It's a lot of work and we just lost both of my in-laws so I'm now tied up with all the estate stuff helping my DH.

Just want to say that you are doing a phenomenal job for you dad!  It is one of the hardest things I think I have ever had to do!!!  Hang in there...

  

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, PeterPan said:

I'm sure this is obvious and I'm just missing it. My dad is going into assisted living again, though a different one, and we are at the point of saying his important mail should go to us instead. How do I DO this? I'm just having a little mental gap here. I am his POA and have the documents. Do I call each business, say this is the scoop, send them a pdf of the POA? Does he have to be on the phone and authorize this? Will it vary? I think someone here said credit card companies are death on that and have hoops. What about insurance, gov't stuff, etc.? He's just honestly stressed about the amount of stuff coming to his residence. A lot has been junk mail, which I've been working to cut down. Now I'm down to the bills and deciding what should go to him and what shouldn't. I think there are two things he could continue to receive (statements on his investments and the monthly statement on his small spending account), but all the rest needs to start coming to us. He now needs help with his taxes. But how does that work if you're making his mailing address one thing and his legal address in a different state??

I jus completed online change of address forms as things came in. I made the address:

Mom First Name Last Name 
c/o my first name last name 

my city state zip

 

For utilities, when I called to disconnect them, they asked for a forwarding address and I just gave them that. 

Pretty much the only time I had to prove my authority with paperwork was when I was dealing with finances (except for AT&T - they have a ridiculous number of hoops). So - life insurance, pension, Medicare, Social Security, banks, etc.. Everryone else just took an address change as I gave it to them. For banks, it is best to go in person. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Pawz4me said:

When I did this for my mother the junk mail stopped completely. USPS won’t forward it, and it stopped coming to her home mailbox. 

Really? Hmm. When my dad passed away and I had all his mail forwarded to my address, I still got TONS of junk mail. I made dozens of phone calls to be removed from those mailing lists. It took a while, but eventually it stopped. I still get something for him every six months or so. A lot of his junk mail was for places he'd donated to or purchased from, so maybe that is the difference. To me it was still junk.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, PrairieSong said:

Really? Hmm. When my dad passed away and I had all his mail forwarded to my address, I still got TONS of junk mail. I made dozens of phone calls to be removed from those mailing lists. It took a while, but eventually it stopped. I still get something for him every six months or so. A lot of his junk mail was for places he'd donated to or purchased from, so maybe that is the difference. To me it was still junk.

Probably so? When I say junk mail I mean purely unsolicited stuff. I was told at the time that the USPS didn't forward junk mail. But it was about eight years ago, so it's possible things have changed since then.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First class mail, which is what many non profits use for soliciting donations, will be forwarded. Fourth class mail, which is what most junk mail is, will not be forwarded. Magazines are forwarded for 6 months, first class mail and packages for one year. 

I followed the instructions from this page to stop credit card offers & most other junk mail. This was one of the first things I did when I got POA & it worked very well. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-stop-junk-mail

My mother was contributing a small amount to a charity monthly by bank draft. I called them, identified myself as the POA and instructed them to stop the draft and they did it immediately, no questions asked. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, mlktwins said:

It is one of the hardest things I think I have ever had to do!!!

I know, I've done lots of hard things but this takes the cake! Emotion and decisions and long lists and more in one. 

1 hour ago, PrairieSong said:

I had all his mail forwarded to my address,

I think she's saying they didn't do that. They filed no forwarding address, so the post office just threw it all away. Which is only a problem if you forget about an important vendor or company, haha. But for the junk mail, it should work. I've been writing them anyway to cut it down, so I'm hoping this is the death nell. 

1 hour ago, TechWife said:

I followed the instructions from this page to stop credit card offers & most other junk mail. This was one of the first things I did when I got POA & it worked very well. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/how-stop-junk-mail

My mother was contributing a small amount to a charity monthly by bank draft. I called them, identified myself as the POA and instructed them to stop the draft and they did it immediately, no questions asked. 

Yup, I found two orgs that had set up recurring charges like this. I emailed and got them canceled without any problem. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

33 minutes ago, Carolina Wren said:

To decrease the ability of junk mail to follow, it helps to indicate on the USPS change of address form that it is temporary (less than 6 months). That's probably still enough time to catch up with the important stuff.

I'm not planning to do a forwarding address at all. I was told if you do that they send your new address to the mailing parties. I think I've probably got everything important already anyway. I've been on his bank stuff as POA and POA on all his major stuff for quite a while. He was just still giving/donating, hence the junk mail. I've completely stopped that. 

Actually there's one sticky point with that. There's one org he really likes being a member of. (American Legion? I forget) So I didn't write them but I may just asking them not to sell his name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...