How do you shut off accounts that are in your spouse's name if they become incapacitated? 15 Answers as of May 28, 2014

My wife became mentally incapacitated. We have a few accounts that we no longer need services for like internet, music services, etc. How can I get them shut off?

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O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, if the account/service providers are not willing to accept your action/decision on your spouse's behalf (you may want to first try explaining the situation to customer support representatives.) Then you may need authority to perform the action(s) as an agent under a valid power of attorney (if the spouse had capacity to execute it), or as a guardian under a guardianship or similar court order.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 5/28/2014
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
If you have power of attorney for your wife, you can cancel these services. If not, I would first call these companies and see if they will let you do it cancel as her spouse. If that does not work, then you may need to get a guardianship of her in order to act on her behalf regarding these services or any other matter that you need to take care of her.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 5/14/2014
Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
If you have a power of attorney, you could show it to the account holders and shut down the accounts. If not, you may need to be appointed as her guardian and do it through the guardianship.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/7/2014
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
Do you have a power of attorney? If so, call and get information to provide written notice if necessary. If not or if they will not comply, you may need to purse a legal guardianship, especially if other types of decisions are necessary, i.e., health care.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 5/6/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Call up the vendor and request their termination; you are the husband and have equal authority to manage the accounts of the household.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/6/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    As her husband, you should be able to contact each company and close the accounts. If they refuse, you may need to be named your wife's guardian which will give you the legal authority to act on her behalf.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    CALL THE SERVICE PROVIDERS.. TELL THEM TO SHUT THEM OFF.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If you have power of attorney for your wife, that should suffice. If not, at some point you may need to get guardianship or conservatorship for her, and then you'd have authority. (These little accounts aren't sufficient reason by themselves to get guardianship, though). Maybe she can help a little, just to get on the phone and tell the account people they can talk to you?
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Write to each of them.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If there is no court appointed guardian for you wife or there is no agent appointed under a Power of attorney for Property there is no one with the proper authority to act on behalf of your wife. If she has any accounts or other assets that are only in her name then such accounts or assets cannot be dealt with and a guardianship should be opened so such assets are available for use for her benefit. If your wife gave you the passwords allowing you to access and manage the services you could use the password to terminate the service. Otherwise you must contact the service, preferably in writing, and terminate the account. If the services are automatically paid through a credit card or bank account then terminate the payment arrangement with the financial institution. Unfortunately, attempting to terminate the service that is in your wife's name without the legal authority to act on her behalf may not be honored by the service and they could continue to attempt to charge your wife for the service.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    If the accounts are in both your names, you should be able to call in for a disconnect. if the service is in her name alone you still should be able to disconnect the service.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    Send a letter to shut them off along with a power of attorney or letters for a conservatorship. If you have a trust, that might work to give you legal authority as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    It depends on how the accounts are set up and whether or not you have estate planning documents in place. If you have a power of attorney in place, you would simply provide a copy of that to whoever you need to deal with and that should take care of everything. If you do not have a POA in place, hopefully, whoever you need to deal with will agree to work with you. If they do not, you may need to petition the probate court to become your wife's guardian and conservator. That is an expensive prospect and it is a major hassle, as well.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    What is your wife's mental incapacity? Does she have dementia or Alzheimer's or something different? Do you have power of attorney over her financial affairs? If she is truly mentally incapacitated and you do not have her power of attorney, in California, you will need to file for temporary or permanent conservatorship. If you would like to know how this is done, please feel free to call me for a free telephone consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/6/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    Call or send a notice with the bill discontinuing service.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/6/2014
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