Even if your aging parent is doing just fine now, the day will eventually come when you will need to deal with their finances. As their family caregiver, your job is to provide the best elderly care possible. In addition to making sure they are healthy and safe, this also means making sure they are financially cared for. To make it easier for both of you, should an emergency arise, consider preparing for an uncertain future by gathering and organizing financial documents now.
Start Conversations Early
It may be months or years before your aging mom or dad really needs your help with money matters. That doesn’t mean you should put off talking about it. If you take a respectful and caring approach to the topic, your parents should see the value in getting things organized. However, money matters can create a lot of tension between elderly parents and adult children, and between adult siblings. It’s important that you point out that financial planning is for their own good and that you want what’s best for them.
Gather the Information
Your elderly parent should begin by gathering documents of all their identity and financial matters. From birth certificates and bank statements to investment reports and safe deposit box details, everything should be accounted for. Elderly parents don’t even need to share details with their adult children if they don’t want to. They can simply gather the documents and clarify that they can be accessed if they are incapacitated or pass on. However, if seniors want their money handled in the way they want in the future, they need to trust someone and create a plan together.
Make it Legal
Many seniors and family members work with professionals like attorneys, estate planners and accountants to arrange finances so that everyone benefits. Some options are living trusts, living wills, power of attorney and adding the family member’s name to certain accounts. Your advisor will be able to recommend the best courses of action for each eventuality.
Do It Sooner Rather Than Later
The sad fact is that sometimes an elderly parent becomes incapacitated when it is least expected. When something serious happens, such as a stroke, dementia or something else, and there is no living trust set up, you must go to court to be declared your parent’s guardian. Not only is this time consuming and expensive, but other family members may contest it, hoping to get at the elderly person’s money. If you and your elderly parent have already worked out the details while they are deemed competent, they can structure things according to their wishes. It’s always better to have things set up as they want it well before any of you need it.
Elderly care can be a challenge, but you and your elderly parent can alleviate the frustration and burden of financial management by taking care of finances as soon as possible.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDERLY CARE IN SURPRISE, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.