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Paying Bills for Someone in Prison

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A woman writing checks to pay bills.
If a loved one or friend is in prison, you may need to help out with their finances and bill paying. This is a guide about handling financial transactions for incarcerated parent.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
January 30, 2017

So my mother is incarcerated; 78 days now. I have POA over my sisters. I am staying at mom's house to keep my sisters lives normal. She asked me to go get her purse from her possessions and do what I have to do to take care of everything. She gave me all of her passwords and pins, her Social Security number, bank account number, her driver's license, everything. I did not get POA for my mom. (I honestly did not know I could.) I have been transferring her money into my account for her rent and all other bills. She knows about it and is 100% okay with it.

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I forgot the password to her application for banking and I got locked out of it. I have to go to the bank or call to verify identity. I plan on getting a POA before I go to the bank, but what if they have a issue with previous transactions? The past 78 days, to be exact. Can I go to jail? I also scared! I need advice from someone who has been in this kind of situation.

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January 30, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would contact the Legal Aid Society. They are free and they can help you. I would think you would need a POA over your mother. The POA over your sisters does help. Your sisters need money to survive. The lawyer may be able help you get the POA over your mother. Once you have that, the bank can reset the password.

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January 30, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I wouldn't worry too much.

Most people have little to no warning they'll be incarcerated and their finances aren't set up for it, but life goes on in the meantime and somebody has to make those payments.

If anyone asks, just say your mother is incarcerated and you've been busy getting temporary custody of family members and are now working on getting POA but in the meantime bills have to be paid. Most people will sympathise with your situation. Unless they really have reason to believe you're stealing something it's unlikely they'll pursue it further.

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January 30, 20170 found this helpful

in some states the poa has to go thru the court. In other areas, you can print one off of online and as long as it is witnessed and notarized, you are ok. But, it only counts from that date to the expiration date. get it as soon as you can. the bank won't necessary know what date she started her incarceration, so you will probably be ok.

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January 31, 20170 found this helpful

i would get a letter from your mom saying what she allowed you to do

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