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As DPOA for my mom will I be left to pay her debts?

As DPOA (designated power of attorney) for my mother (father has passed away) if she has credit card bills after her death, will I be responsible to pay them? She has a prepaid funeral plan, but that is it financially. No savings, no estate as she is currently in an Adult Family Home. The cost of that takes her entire social security and pension each month. Also, what about outstanding drug bill (pharmacy delivers to home and sends me the bill)?
Status: Open    Oct 18, 2016 - 05:00 PM


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Nov 02, 2016 - 08:48 AM

The answer from wagnerbe is pretty good. I would add that when you are signing documents for her, you should sign 'mother name by daughter name, POA' so it is clear that you are signing as your mother not you personally. If you sign your name it could be taken to mean you are agreeing to be responsible for the bill instead of or in addition to your mother.


Oct 31, 2016 - 10:39 AM

I am not a lawyer, but had Power of Attorney (and later became executor). Power of attorney means that you can legally act on behalf of the subject in areas described in the power of attorney document while the subject is incapacitated. Furthermore, the forms I had to fill out stated clearly that the POA stopped automatically with the death of the subject. The duties you described pertain to being an Executor of the estate. In my case, I had agreed to be executor, and was listed as such in the will. As executor, it was my job to ARRANGE for the payment of all debts out of the assets of the estate. If there are not sufficient assets, you are not responsible for paying bills yourself . I would suggest contacting a lawyer in case there is not enough money in the estate, since law suits against the estate are a good possibility.
In your role as child of the deceased, you may or may not be responsible for some debt. Since there is a pension and social security, you may have to worry about income taxes. Again, you may need to consult an attorney or tax consultant.
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