Duty 3: Keep Martina’s money and property separate

Never mix Martina’s money or property with your own or someone else’s. Mixing money or property makes it unclear who owns what. Confused records can get you in trouble with Martina’s family and also with government agencies, such as Adult Protective Services, the police or the sheriff.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Separate means separate. Never deposit Martina’s money or property into your own or someone else’s bank account or investment account.
  • Avoid joint accounts. If Martina already has money or property in a joint account with you or someone else, get legal advice before making any change.
  • Keep title to Martina’s money and property in her own name. This is so other people can see right away that the money and property is Martina’s and not yours. Be especially careful about transferring Martina’s money or property for less than fair market value.
  • Know how to sign as agent. Sign all checks and other documents relating to Martina’s money or property to show that you are Martina’s agent. For example, you might sign “Juan Doe, as agent for Martina Roe.” Never just sign “Juan Doe” or “Martina Roe.”
  • Pay Martina’s expenses from her funds, not yours. Spending your money and then paying yourself back makes it hard to keep good records. If you really need to use your money, save receipts for the expense and keep a good record of why, what, and when you paid yourself.