Personal Finance

Credit cards under the same account to cover the costs of a disabled person

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 16th, 2021 4:54 pm
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 15, 2006
1154 posts

Credit cards under the same account to cover the costs of a disabled person

Hello guys,

My mother has been diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic cancer with a survival rate of 2 to 12 months . She wishes us (three family members) to have credit cards under the same account, to cover the costs required to take care of her.

I would typically open an account under her name, but she will quickly need a protection mandate / incapacity mandate.

What would you do in such a situation?

Thanks for your help.
4 replies
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2014
1205 posts
0 downvotes (Maple,O…
Ensure she has a will and power of attorney. Make multiple copies and if possible have them witnessed noterized. Ensure POA and Executor understand her wishes as well as all of her assets/liabilities/finances. Have a trusted person added to bank accounts (make them joint) to avoid probate. Have TFSAs, GICs and RRSP beneficiaries be named people and not left to estate.

Sorry to hear you mom's decline in health.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 15, 2017
5224 posts
Is there a particular reason that your Mom wants the three of you involved? How is the current relationship between the three of you? Are you all in agreement on your Mom's treatment and needs? How do the three of you typically deal with differences of opinion? Are all three of you completely aware of your Mom's current financial situation and health situation?
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
13006 posts
Very sorry to hear about your mom’s health. Cancer sucks!

But just a caution for you getting your name out on anything. I’m no expert, but taking out credit in someone’s name when they have a terminal diagnosis seems very risky. Normally, a credit card company can’t go after anyone other than the card holder, but if your name is on the card and there’s not sufficient funds in the estate to cover the outstanding balance, I’d be concerned that you’re exposing yourself to a financial liability. I’m not saying don’t do it, but you may want to schedule some time with a lawyer since it seems you have to get a POA done sooner rather than later anyway.

I would get professional advice on this, rather than anonymous advice from a coupon clipping website. None of you need additional stress right now.

Deal Addict
May 16, 2017
2348 posts
Also, I've seen this type of warning about the strategy of avoiding probate with joint accounts:

"It is important to note, Laurel, that while joint ownership may ensure an account passes directly to a survivor without delay at a bank or financial institution, it does not mean the account avoids probate.

When a parent adds a child’s name to an asset, the presumption is that this creates a resulting trust, with the asset being held beneficially in trust for the parent, and ownership remaining with the parent. This generally means the asset should be distributed based on the terms of the parent’s will, but there are potential probate, estate, tax and family law implications that can apply." ... d-probate/