Friday, 8 February 2013

07:49 – Another one-dog night. We dodged the proverbial bullet. It rained for hours last evening, and the temperatures were barely above freezing.

I’ve been making up chemicals for the chemistry kits, doing raw-materials inventory as I do so. Yesterday, I put together an order for several hundred dollars worth of chemicals from Elemental Scientific. A gallon of reagent-grade glacial acetic acid, a gallon of reagent-grade n-butanol, two pounds of this, five pounds of that. When I clicked on the button to check out, there was a drop-down list that forced a choice of one of three options for payment: call-in, fax-in, or mail-in. I chose call-in.

I called to give them my credit card number, and spoke to Wade Van Ryzin, the owner. I asked him what was going on, and he said they were in the midst of changing credit-card processors and hadn’t yet gotten the API for the new processor set up on their web site. So I gave him my credit card number and, as usual, we started chatting about this and that. I finally remembered to ask Wade something I’d been meaning for years to ask him. Why does Elemental continue to package chemicals in traditional measures–ounces, pounds, pints, and so on–rather than grams and milliliters? Wade laughed and said they were asked that question all the time. The answer? He said that they’d have to re-do all of their labels, thousands of them, and that doing so would require devoting someone’s attention full-time for a month or more.

Barbara made a flying visit home last night to have dinner before heading over to her parents’ apartment to dad-sit overnight. She’s off-duty tonight, with Frances covering, and then back on-duty Saturday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I asked about getting someone to stay with him nights, and Barbara said she and Frances were talking about it. The problem is that Dutch wants Barbara or Frances to stay with him because he’s afraid that a hired sitter will steal him blind while he’s asleep. I told Barbara that she and Frances need to make her dad understand that the two of them can’t do this indefinitely, and that if he wants someone staying with him it’s going to have to be someone hired from an agency.


11:28 – It all makes sense now. Barbara just told me that the IV antibiotic they have her mother on is levofloxacin, a 3G fluoroquinolone. Here’s some of what Wikipedia has to say about CNS ADRs with levofloxacin:

Fluoroquinolones can induce a wide range of serious adverse psychiatric effects. These reactions may manifest as extreme anxiety, panic attacks, depression, anhedonia, cognitive dysfunction (or brain fog), depersonalization, paranoia, hallucinations, toxic psychosis, seizures, tremors, taste perversions, abnormal dreams, chronic insomnia, vertigo, delirium, suicidal thoughts, and usually involves all five senses. For some people the symptoms resolve relatively soon after discontinuing the fluoroquinolone; for others, in the case of a neurotoxic effect, symptomatology may persist for months or even years after discontinuation. Fluoroquinolones are associated with a significant number of serious psychiatric events.

These side-effects are distressingly common with this drug, and are much more likely to manifest in older people. When you consider that Barbara’s mom is 85 years old and was mentally frail to begin with, it’s not surprising that she’s completely lost it while being treated with this drug. When I told Barbara that I was shocked that they were treating her mom with this drug, particularly in a hospital environment where MRSA is endemic, she said that Sankie is allergic to penicillins and sulfas. I realize that they have to choose a drug that is effective. Still, the one they’re using is hideously dangerous, even within the fluoroquinolone group. I can only assume that cipro or one of the other less risky fluoroquinolones wasn’t effective against her infection. Or at least I hope that’s why they decided to use levofloxacin.

47 thoughts on “Friday, 8 February 2013”

  1. I told Barbara that she and Frances need to make her dad understand that the two of them can’t do this indefinitely, and that if he wants someone staying with him it’s going to have to be someone hired from an agency.

    Sadly elderly parents listen to their children about as well as teenagers listen to their parents. You would have better luck trying to explain that to Barbara’s dad.

  2. The problem is that Dutch wants Barbara or Frances to stay with him because he’s afraid that a hired sitter will steal him blind while he’s asleep.

    And that is indeed a very real problem. My grandmother crocheted as long as I can remember. Very fine thread, lots of detail, very very intricate work. The couple hundred pieces she had were worth a lot of money. One item in particular was a cover for a king sized bed that would touch the floor on all sides, all hand done.

    Their son decided it was a good idea to have someone come in once a day to clean the house and fix them a couple of meals. No one ever noticed anything missing that was readily visible. But when they moved my grandparents to a nursing home they discovered all was not well.

    There were no more items of hand crocheted stuff anywhere to be found except what was already put out. At least 100 pieces were missing. The lady that was doing the cooking and cleaning took the pieces, slowly over time, and sold them. Their son went to the police and the police were their typical worthless selves. Did not want to put in the effort especially since no one could provide an inventory.

    Fortunately I have a half dozen of the pieces that were given to me by my grandmother before the hired help. One table cloth we had to have repaired and were offered $1000.00 by the lady doing the repair. We declined and instead paid for the repair.

    We tried having someone come into my aunt’s home three days a week to clean and cook. That upset my aunt so bad that we only did one week. She was also concerned about the theft after what happened to her parents.

    The theft is indeed a very real issue and problem.

  3. I’m not sure how much stuff Dutch and Sankie have that’s both valuable and easily portable. I’ll suggest to Barbara and Frances that before they hire an agency to provide night care they do a cruise through the apartment and take away anything that’s likely to be attractive to a thief.

  4. Yeah, how much of value does one have in an assisted living efficiency? My aunt and uncle have a TV, radio, telephone, bed, couch, chairs, clothes, one table, a few family pictures, their file of papers, and that’s it.

    My grandmother was bed-ridden for the last months of her life, with a former hospital RN working an 8-hour shift fixing 2 meals and caring for her. My dad later found that my grandmother had been stolen blind by the woman, with practically every small thing of value missing, including Hummel ceramics that were made valuable by the mold being thrown away after limited production. Purse, money, wallet, stock certificates—all gone.

    Amazing how hard some people will work at a life of crime.

  5. I have always thought that the death penalty should be applied much more broadly than it is. I would certainly include email and phone spammers, but at the top of the list I’d put anyone who scams, steals from, or otherwise abuses the elderly.

  6. We didn’t have that problem with my mum near the end of her life, but on her honeymoon in 1948 the woman who cleaned my parents hotel room lifted some of mum’s jewelry the day before they were due to check out. The hotel manager vouched for the cleaner, and there wasn’t much my folks could do on the last day. Mum had not wanted to carry this jewelry and thought she’d hidden it in the room fairly securely, but the cleaner found it.

    No, I don’t give my trust easily.

  7. You can’t even trust family. My uncle and his wife tried to cheat my parents when my maternal grandmother died in 1964. Gran died a day too soon so their plan came unstuck, but there was plenty of ill will for about 30 years over this. I don’t think I’ve seen their kids, my cousins, since the late Seventies.

    There are other stories, but you get the idea. I am very reluctant to extend too much trust to anyone.

  8. Oh, yeah. Family can be the worst. My mother’s father died something like 16 years before I was born. He was a gun collector, and the family descended on my mom and grandmother and carried off every one of his firearms, scores of them. When I think about what was stolen from them it makes me ill. My mother would have passed those guns down to my brother and me. And some of them were extraordinarily valuable, including one of the first-run 1921 Thompson SMGs.

  9. Then there was the spacecraft that crashed into Mars rather than land gently when the NASA bureaucrats demanded trajectory calculations in metric instead of traditional USA. All the useless conversions led to at least one mistake….our tax dollars at work.

  10. You can’t even trust family. My uncle and his wife tried to cheat my parents when my maternal grandmother died in 1964.

    Then there are people like me. I’m handling my mother’s finances now. She tried to tell me to take money from a couple of her CD’s and put it in my bank account, and I didn’t. She told me to write a check to myself for Christmas, and another one for my birthday. I wouldn’t do that either. I am going to put that money in my daughter’s college fund. (I mean the trivial gift amounts, not the CDs.)

  11. Oh, yeah. Family can be the worst.

    How true. When my uncle died people showed up at the funeral that I did not know existed. Somehow three of them got my aunt to change her will giving them each 25% with me getting 25%. I suppose they were quite smug in their accomplishment.

    When my aunt died she had nothing so they got nothing. Of course I also got nothing. That was better than those leaches getting anything. I did keep a significantly valuable painting. If they want their 25% they can come to TN to get it. I will cut the painting into quarters and give them each a quarter of the painting.

    Lawyers are just as bad. One firm in Seattle was preying on windows. Convincing them to put their money into a trust that significantly benefited the legal firm. My aunt got trapped and it cost her over $10,000 in taxes as the law firm sold her stock. The firm also charged $8,000 to set up the trust. The local bank called me about the unusual activity on her account. When I flew to Washington state and talked with the bank it was explained to me that this firm had targeted several of the bank’s customers.

    I was able to get the trust revoked after a significant threat of legal action against the firm. At first they balked but I stood my ground and the firm backed off. I complained to the police and they could do nothing as what the law firm was doing was not illegal although highly unethical.

    So killing and torturing someone who abuses or takes advantage of elderly people would be something that I too would endorse.

  12. Then there are people like me. I’m handling my mother’s finances now. She tried to tell me to take money from a couple of her CD’s and put it in my bank account, and I didn’t.

    You may want to reconsider. There may be future tax implications if you don’t take the money now. Based on my experience and my situation, I should have gotten all but one of my aunts accounts into my name only and then transferred money to her account when it was needed. Leaving just her SS and retirement going into her account.

    Each case is different so what I should have done may not translate well at all in your situation. I needed to protect her money from the leaches in the family and the law firm.

  13. You may want to reconsider. There may be future tax implications if you don’t take the money now. Based on my experience and my situation, I should have gotten all but one of my aunts accounts into my name only and then transferred money to her account when it was needed.

    My mother is going to be going to a nursing home at some point. I think it is a distinct possibility she will run out of money in a nursing home, triggering the dreaded Medicaid 5 year lookback period. I think it’s easier to leave the money in her name, and have it be more obvious that all the money went to her care, than to move it to my name, use it for her care and then have to prove that it was used for her care.

    Although I think I’m going to open a new account in her name that she doesn’t know about, leaving her a checkbook to an account with just a few hundred dollars, and give her an allowance every month.

  14. I think it’s easier to leave the money in her name, and have it be more obvious that all the money went to her care, than to move it to my name, use it for her care and then have to prove that it was used for her care.

    If the person is going to run out of money in less than 5 years you probably don’t have any issues. If the money is going to last more than 5 years it is best to move the money immediately. You don’t have to prove how you spent any of the money if the transfer is accomplished before the 5 year look back. Medicaid nor the state care who paid for the nursing home during those 5 years. All medicaid will ask for is a list of her bank accounts and balances and other major assets such as vehicles, property or life insurance policies. If those have not existed in your mother’s name for the 5 year look back period you can honestly say she had nothing.

    When we applied for medicaid for my aunt she had about $4,000 left. We were told we should buy a funeral policy and some clothes to get the money below the ~2K that is the upper limit for getting medicaid. That is allowed by law. You do have to tell medicaid about the insurance policy.

    Even if your mother will run out of money in those 5 years in my opinion you still need to get those accounts as joint accounts with your name (or survivor-ship). For certificates change the beneficiary to you (or whomever). Also transfer the titles to any vehicles and property to yourself (or whomever). Doing so will avoid probate as beneficiary and joint ownership on accounts don’t go through probate as they are not part of the estate. Probate costs money so if you can save that money you can keep it out of the hands of the local courts.

  15. Even if your mother will run out of money in those 5 years in my opinion you still need to get those accounts as joint accounts with your name (or survivor-ship). For certificates change the beneficiary to you (or whomever). Also transfer the titles to any vehicles and property to yourself (or whomever). Doing so will avoid probate as beneficiary and joint ownership on accounts don’t go through probate as they are not part of the estate. Probate costs money so if you can save that money you can keep it out of the hands of the local courts.

    Thanks, Ray. You helped me change my plan. I think I’ll open new accounts at a new bank. Reason I tell Mom, they pay better interest. Reason I don’t tell Mom, it’s a bank that she doesn’t know about. At least the Savings Account will be in both our names for the reason you specify.

    My mom has small CDs at banks scattered all over the place. At one bank, I met a very nice lady and explained my mom was moving to an assisted living facility. She politely inquired about my mother’s health. She then very tactfully pointed out that if my mother was well enough to come to the bank, she could add me to the accounts, and avoid probate. This had the potential to be very awkward, but she handled it very well. Also she went out of her way to be helpful when it could have been really awkward. The only reason her bank isn’t my new bank is that it’s too far away.

  16. These side-effects are distressingly common with this drug, and are much more likely to manifest in older people. When you consider that Barbara’s mom is 85 years old and was mentally frail to begin with, it’s not surprising that she’s completely lost it while being treated with this drug.

    Bob, the doctors are feeding you a line. The drug might have something to do with her mental state, but it’s unlikely. The labeling says that psych disorders are seen in less than 1% of patients, and the only more severe side effect in the geriatric population was an increased risk of tendon rupture.

    She was stressed, anxious, not sleeping, probably not eating, and got sick. That alone is enough to trigger delirium. Top it off with being hospitalized (and away from her husband) and it can trigger her symptoms. As I said before, my wife has seen it in patients in the recovery room of a day surgery unit.

    Doctors often don’t like to, in effect, blame themselves for “causing” patient problems. Surgeons are famous for blaming anesthesia for all kinds of post-operative problems that are due to the surgery. Nobody at a hospital wants to admit that they can trigger a mental breakdown. I saw it in my Dad when he was hospitalized and in ICU. About 25% of patients over 65 have hospital induced delirium, 33% over 70, vs the 1% or less from Levaquin.

    See http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/01/vigilance-about-the-dangers-of-delirium/

  17. She then very tactfully pointed out that if my mother was well enough to come to the bank, she could add me to the accounts, and avoid probate.

    Power of attorney will solve that very quickly. If you have the POA you can make changes to any of the accounts including adding yourself to the accounts. When taking over for someone a POA is absolutely your best friend. A requirement in my opinion. It made dealing with my aunt’s affairs so much easier.

    The other option is have her declared incompetent and that requires documentation from a doctor. Then you go before a judge and have the judge rule on the incompetency and will hopefully appoint you to manage her funds.

    Also the social security administration will not accept a POA and instead will require the above judges order or a declaration of incompetency by her doctor.

    Another word of advise, get POA with the IRS as a regular POA is not acceptable to the IRS. You will need this if you need to file taxes. I don’t know if a judges order will suffice. If your mother’s income is below a certain level and/or the income is from SSI then there is no need to file a return. Of course if money is held out from say, a retirement income, then filing a return is necessary. You can avoid that by asking that nothing be withheld from the retirement income.

  18. Thanks. I just told Barbara what you said. The psychiatrist who’s treating Sankie told her this morning that she needs to get away from the hospital and back home as soon as possible. Apparently, the IV antibiotic is to continue through Monday, so I hope they’ll get her home Monday or Tuesday.

  19. Power of attorney will solve that very quickly. If you have the POA you can make changes to any of the accounts including adding yourself to the accounts. When taking over for someone a POA is absolutely your best friend. A requirement in my opinion.

    I have a POA, and it has been indispensable. Evidently the one thing I can’t do with a POA in Indiana is turn an account of my Mom’s into a joint account.

  20. Another word of advise, get POA with the IRS as a regular POA is not acceptable to the IRS. You will need this if you need to file taxes.

    Thanks for that bit of advice Ray. My mom may not need to file a Federal Tax Return this year. I’m pretty sure she will need to file a State return though. Since the easiest way to file a State return is to copy all the numbers from a Federal return, I may wind up filing anyway. Even if she isn’t required to file a Federal return, I’ll probably file one anyway, if only because some of her CD’s are joint with me, and I don’t want the IRS to come asking me why I didn’t report the interest and pay taxes on them.

  21. Evidently the one thing I can’t do with a POA in Indiana is turn an account of my Mom’s into a joint account.

    That is indeed odd. POA’s are supposed to allow you to make decisions as if you were that person. To legally sign documents for them. To do anything the person for which you have the POA is allowed. I had no issues in Washington state or in TN when dealing with my aunt. I put myself as joint on all her accounts, closed some accounts, opened new accounts, applied for aid at the VA, applied for medicaid, no speed bumps with the POA.

    You may want to check with the bank by finding someone that is higher on the food chain to get a definite answer. There has to be some document that can be signed that will allow you full and unfettered access to the accounts, including changing the accounts.

    As a last resort I guess you could get a judges order for the bank to allow the change. The bank cannot ignore a judges order.

  22. Yes, having both names on the accounts is a lifesaver. My mother had placed her accounts in both of our names. When she passed away – completely unexpectedly – this let me handle a lot of the necessary paperwork quickly and (comparatively) painlessly. Highly recommended!

  23. Evidently the one thing I can’t do with a POA in Indiana is turn an account of my Mom’s into a joint account.

    Most banks have a policy against that anyway. They prefer you close the original account and open a new joint account. They don’t like to add and remove owners on an account.

    If all you want is to simplify things when the account owner passes, then you may just make sure you’re the POD (Payable on Death) on the account. For people who don’t want their credit tied to their elderly relative’s that’s a better option in some cases.

  24. Wow, what a series of horror stories; one apparently should have a battery of lawyers and tax accountants at the ready all the time nowadays. And even then you still get ripped off. Almost better to have nothing worth taking, but then while that may solve the material goods/theft problem, we still have the medical/healthcare issues to worry about. We’re gonna be approaching that time fairly soon with my mom and my MIL and I know in the former case my next-younger brother has the POA. My MIL is pretty lucid and intelligent and no doubt has made the right preps but I will mention to Mrs. OFD to look into it as tactfully as I can, as she is already frantic about losing her (only child of widow).

    Steady snow, fine flakes, since wee hours and all day here so fah; it’s now about six inches of powder, perfect for skiing. A total whiteout over the Lake; we can’t see the horizon at all. And no end in sight until tomorrow sometime. My homies down in MA are bracing for a repeat of the Blizzard of ’78, which I remember well. Two to three feet between this morning and Sunday expected.

  25. This just in from Fred:

    “Supposedly there are eleven million illegals in the country. Granting them amnesty will not make them go away. Not granting them amnesty will not make them go away. Amnesty might attract more, if jobs were available. Withholding amnesty will leave them permanently marginalized. Take your choice.”

    http://www.fredoneverything.net/Amnesty.shtml

  26. After my mother died, I was trying to get all the bills consolidated, etc, and I went to the hospital where she had spent a week before they sent her home to die. I went to the business office with a copy of the probate order, and asked to get a final statement. The lady told me that I had to have a POA to get it, and I responded that I had the probate order, and that a POA would be null and void post mortem. She refused to budge, so I called my attorney and explained the situation. She in turn called the hospital and started using big words like ‘contempt’. Eventually I got the statement, and an apology from the hospital.

  27. Re illegal aliens: One of President SteveF’s first acts would be to announce a Presidential pardon for anyone convicted of killing an illegal alien within US territory. I imagine the illegals would deport themselves, at a cost of $0 to the taxpayer.

  28. I suspect half the illegals would murder the other half and collect your pardon.

    I suggest adding “Legal Citizen of the United States of American” to your act.

  29. Levaquin is not likely the cause of Barbara’s mom’s symptoms. Of all the quinolones, it is one of the safest along with Cipro (which has limited respiratory coverage). We use it like water and very rarely see some Q-T prolongation or tendon issues when properly dosed for renal function. Many of the side effects you’ve noted were more common in quinolones that were been pulled from the market years ago.

  30. SteveF, I’m not sure that the number of illegal aliens, excuse me, undocumented voters, is only 11 million. In fact, I am fairly sure that number is the low side of the estimate. It is probably more like 20 million. Maybe even 30 million, depending on how you treat their kids (mostly born here).

    The Lady that cleans our house one morning a week, Blanca, her kids were born here and speak better English than me. Her daughter works at my local Subway. I firmly believe in the don’t ask, don’t tell thing so I have no idea as to her documentation status.

  31. bgrigg, the pardon would be only for the alleged murder and related so-called crimes as litter and discharge of a firearm within city limits. No pardon for being here illegally. However, I do normally mention that the pardon is only for US citizens. I wrote in haste and sloppily, above.

    Lynn McGuire, what does the number have to do with anything? The announcement of the Prez Steve pardon would likely drive most of them away, whether there are 5 million (the ludicrously low number some bat about) or 50 million (the improbably high “as many as” number).

  32. It’s possible for an antibiotic to cause a lot of distress without really being the cause of the distress. This happens when the person taking it is heavily infected with slow-growing bacteria that normally manage to hide themselves from the immune system. When they die, they become unable to hide, and the immune system sees their corpses and goes apeshit. So on the one hand, this means that an antibiotic that has been thoroughly tested for side effects (on healthy people) and been proven safe (for healthy people) can have severe side effects in the unhealthy. On the other hand, if one can get past those side effects the end result can be long-term improvement.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarisch-Herxheimer_reaction

  33. Fred’s column is remarkably down-to-earth and realistic, at least compared to the last few. Unfortunately, he nails it, when he says “It is not now or never. It is thirty years ago or never. This limits the options.”

    After the last amnesty, the government was going to secure the borders. They didn’t, nor did they change the archaic citizenship rules. There are no good choices.

    We’re facing this to some extent in Switzerland. Being an island in the midst of the EU, Switzerland needed open trade. The EU agreed, as long as we also had open borders. In 2011, some 50,000 foreigners were granted permanent residency; the total number of immigrants (including ones here only temporarily) was 140,000. Numbers in 2012 were probably higher. In a country of only 8 million, that’s a lot! (Strangely, the Wikipedia pages show much lower numbers, but my numbers come from the official governmental pages?!)

    At the moment, we get the most immigrants from Portugal – people who have given up hope of finding a job there, put their last money into a train ticket, and here they are. Of course, these are mostly the uneducated and unskilled, they don’t speak any local language, so they can’t find a job here either. But we aren’t allowed to send them back, and the EU gets all offended whenever we bring up the idea of restricting immigration. We also get a lot of immigrants from Eastern Europe, and the EU does insist on adding ever more poor Eastern European countries.

    Our politicians are generally pretty good (for politicians), but sometimes they need to grow some balls. This is definitely one of those times.

  34. Attention Dave B!

    I have a Level 15 Arms Warrior, she’s hanging out in Loch Modam at the moment. I want to get her started learning Cooking. I think the nearest trainer is Gremlock Pilsnor in the Thunderbrew Distillery, Kharanos, Dun Moragh. Would he be the best trainer to use? He’s described as Level 10, is that too low?

    Ah yeah, what was the link you use that shows the basic information of a WoW character? I thought I’d saved the link but can’t find it. The character in question is Kabrin on Saurfang.

  35. I’d be willing to grant amnesty to the illegals that have been here a while. But not citizenship. Let those that waited in line and came in properly make that transition. There has to be some price to the illegal entry. (Perhaps Obama and the Democrats plan to solve it by continuing the recession for a while. The illegal population has been dropping over the last few years due to the collapse of construction.)

    In any case, the long term solutions to the budget crunch caused by SS and Medicare are growing the economy and increasing the number of youngsters. Immigration can help with both of those.

  36. I’d be willing to grant amnesty to the illegals that have been here a while. But not citizenship.

    The purpose of granting citizenship to illegals currently in the country is all about increasing the republican voting base. These people, who have been given a lot of free stuff from the government coffers (in other words other people’s pockets), will continue to vote themselves more free benefits. Make the rich poorer while making the poor richer. That is what the republicans want. Increasing the voter base increases their odds of making it happen.

  37. Um, did you mean Democrats? Yes, I know the Republicans are loons but illegals won’t be voting for them in worthwhile numbers.

  38. Yes, Miles you are correct. I get them mixed up because as you say, they are all losers and out of touch with reality.

  39. I like OFD’s description of the Republicans as the stupid wing of the War Party. I can’t remember off hand what his name for the Dems is.

    Getting Old Is Hell. ™

  40. The Democrat half of the War/Money Party is the Evil wing. There’s Stupid and there’s Evil, both wings of the same war and money party that is destroying the country and enriching themselves. Those who keep harping about voting and elections are wasting their breath and valuable bandwidth; that charade is over. At least at the national and large-state levels. Locally we still have a chance here and there.

    “Unfortunately, he nails it, when he says “It is not now or never. It is thirty years ago or never. This limits the options.”

    I am on record thirty years ago saying this stuff and so was Fred and the people at VDare.com and other media but we were blown off and ignored when we weren’t being tarred with the usual racism brush. Not to mention nativism and xenophobia, just steps away from fascism, etc., etc. Now we reap the fucking whirlwind.

  41. One is Stupidly Evil, the other is just Evil.

    One is Stupidly Evil, the other is just Evilly Stupid.

    There, fixed that for ya.

  42. Not sure what the situation is in other states, but it is pretty difficult for illegals to vote in Indiana. When I returned in 2010, it took a certified copy of my birth certificate to get a driver’s license, and/or/thus a voter registration (got the voter registration before I left for Germany in 2001, and that required the birth certificate). Now it is not impossible to forge those, and I suppose there is a market in that, but it cannot be large. The bureaucrats in charge around here, are pretty sharp in calling out undotted “i’s” and uncrossed “t’s”.

    David Brudnoy (RIP), the Libertarian talk show host in Boston years ago, recommended denying bank accounts to anyone who was an illegal. No bank account, no cash-a the paycheck. Same would apply to buying/cashing money orders at the P.O. and check-cashing outfits.

    I am not against non-citizens living here; just against their collecting government benefits without being qualified as bonafide. Sure don’t want those folks running the Tiny Town Mexican restaurant to leave. Nor the couple running the new Chinese restaurant; like in Lynn’s case, their kids speak better English than me.

  43. Evidently the one thing I can’t do with a POA in Indiana is turn an account of my Mom’s into a joint account.

    Hmm. I think Chad has it right—that has more to do with bank policy than lack of power in the POA. I remember when Jeri and I got married in Mass., we had to close our old accounts, and open a new joint one, as they would not convert either of our single accounts to joint. Now it was the opposite when Jeri passed, as the joint account she and I had here in Tiny Town just dropped her name from the account after getting a copy of the death document.

    All of that may be why my dad—an Indiana lawyer—had everything they owned put into a trust. When he passed, I was a trustee, and could do everything necessary as easily as greased lightning. Same when my mom passed. All I can say is that if your mom is slipping mentally, it is best to get this sorted out as quickly as possible, because trips to court to get a judge’s order in your mom’s stead are costly, and the real hazard is that judges sometimes do not do the expected thing, and end up adding stress by stretching things out through prolonging what could have been done quickly.

    Also, I have been told by both lawyers and family experience, that filing a Federal return as an “information return” even if you do not owe anything is the wisest course of action. Show them that nothing is owed. My FIL did not file a return one year after he retired, and the IRS did a full-fledged audit because of that. His lawyer told him to always file a return, even if nothing is owed, as proof. You basically have to do the return anyway, just to show yourself that nothing is owed, so just send it on in. The time and money spent on an audit is just counterproductive to anyone’s life.

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