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My elderly honest father and his priest opened a bank account together. Is it normal?


Dear semantics,

My 3-year-old mother is not well. She manages her finances and manages her property. My mother has been married to “John” for 48 years. John seems to have difficulty learning.

The pastor of John’s church opened a bank account, and John added his name. John will do almost everything for his priest. I advised my mother to call the bank to see if John (or her) would be financially responsible if the pastor wrote a check, and did not do well in the fund.

My mother called the bank and was told yes, she and John would be responsible. My mother and John have a home together in California. My concern is that the pastor – knowing John’s mental state – is taking advantage of John, and my mother may turn into a financial hole.

My advice to my mother is to try to get some kind of document that says that John cannot legally sign any document that could endanger their property without his knowledge.

Can this be done? Is it normal?

Please help.

Flabbergasted Stepson

You can email The Monist with any financial and ethical questions about coronavirus at qfottrell@marketwatch.com and follow Quentin Futrell Twitter.

Dear son,

No, that’s not normal. If this priest wants to help your honest father in his financial management, he will not go after his wife and step-son. Also, he is a priest – not a financial adviser. Not the CPA. He is not even a lawyer or a doctor. Something is not right. We do not know if the priest’s motives are good, honorable, but he should not have so much influence in your honest father’s life, especially if he has a learning disability.

What is normal? This is not the first time that a man of cloth has decided to take advantage of this position. In 2015, a Detroit priest opened a secret – apparently – bank account and deposited 20 420,000 bequeathed to the parish by a late member of his congregation. He helped himself to more $ 43,000 parishioners’ money. A New Jersey man also stole about ,000 64,000 in a similar case by opening a secret bank account a few years ago.

Talk to your honest dad – what is the purpose of this account? – Consult his doctor and evaluate his cognitive ability and mental health. Call and write to the bank and warn them about your concerns – the bank’s response to your mother was sadly inadequate. You and / or your mother can apply for guardianship over your stepfather.

If the elderly have any signs of financial abuse, report the questioning priest to the police and his church – and so on. Unfortunately, some religious organizations have a long history of choosing to deal with crime in person, and in the past have had a lot of influence in convincing their church members that everything will be taken care of.

According to the American Bankers Association, older Americans with disabilities are at risk of fraud: “Advances in technology can make it difficult for seniors to believe who to trust and what is safe. Despite these threats, taking simple steps to protect personal information and being aware of warning signs can protect older men and women from financial abuse.

S Tell us the speed of God and how you get.

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See Moneyist Personal Facebook Group, where we are looking for answers to the most difficult money problems in life. Readers write to me with all kinds of hesitations. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or consider the latest semantic columns.

The semantist is sad that he cannot answer the question individually.

More from Quentin Fottrell:

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