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How do I keep Mom from giving money to questionable charities?

She will give money to anyone who says they are from a Church or Christian organization. When I ask her about it she simply says she is "doing the Lord's work", she is burning through her retirement account.
Status: Open    Sep 23, 2014 - 09:26 PM


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Expert Answers

Oct 04, 2014 - 10:19 AM

For seniors that have a strong desire to donate to charities I suggest researching and deciding on charities to donate to one time per year and determining a budget at that time. Help them prepare a list for reference and if a request comes in the mail or by phone that is not on the list then they know it was not their wish to donate that year.


Apr 22, 2016 - 12:59 PM

The way to stop mom from giving money to charities would be to get full control over her accounts, through likely a guardianship. This is a process through the probate court in most states and will allow funds to be converted to guardian accounts and the guardian is the only one with control over said accounts. Consult a local attorney for more info on this process.

Apr 23, 2016 - 05:25 PM

Look into True Link debit card. You pre set who she can pay, and how much, but she still feels autonomous. About $10 per month.

Apr 27, 2016 - 01:17 PM

If it gets to a point where she is harming herself financially, then you may have grounds to seek a protective proceeding (such as a guardianship or conservatorship). This type of proceeding requires you prove her inability to manage her own financial affairs, allowing a court to take those rights away and award them to someone else. This process can be costly and emotional. There may be a less restrictive alternative, such as getting your mother to voluntarily relinquish some control to a Trustee or agent under a Durable Power of Attorney in order to get some assistance in having her manage her financial affairs.

Finally, sometimes the last people we will listen to are our own family members. Taking your mother to a financial adviser might be a good idea. They can advise on her needs for retirement. You can also find one that shares her strong and noble faith beliefs. Kingdom Advisor's organization is a good starting point.

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