Financial affairs are often ignored as loved ones are dying.
When loved ones are ill or dying, there already are many emotional and physical demands on the family.
Family members are responsible for overseeing care.
Sometimes this involves personally taking the loved one to appointments, preparing meals, or helping with bathing and dressing.
Other times, family members must oversee the schedule of home health workers and therapists coming to support the loved one.
According to a recent Seniors Matter article titled “How do I handle my father’s financial matters now that he’s in hospice?,” the focus shifts to pain management and emotional goodbyes when a loved one is placed on hospice.
Family members often overlook their own financial affairs when a loved one draws closer to death.
The challenges surrounding these situations feel overwhelming.
They are coming to terms with a future without their loved one.
In the midst of that reality, the financial affairs of their loved one seem to hold little importance as well.
Nevertheless, it can help you and your dying loved one to review his or her financial affairs.
Doing so can alleviate some of the burden of funeral planning, paying bills, and administering the estate after your loved one has died.
This financial review may even uncover a major deficiency in the estate plan of your loved one and provide an opportunity to fix it while there is still time.
Where can you start?
A good place to begin when reviewing the financial affairs of your loved one is to outline the assets and liabilities.
Follow these “numbers” with an inventory?
Where should you begin?
You can start with the physical property.
This can include real estate, cars, boats, and other vehicles.
Next, you should confirm income and wages, as well as bank accounts and retirement funds.
Review investments such as stock, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and cryptocurrency.
Check to see if you loved one has a life insurance policy and any physical precious metals or coins.
Ask whether your ailing family member has intellectual property or business interests.
Collections are important, whether the value is tangible like Faberge Eggs or intangible like a great-grandfather’s ceramic bullfrog collection.
After you have inventoried the asset segment of the financial affairs of your loved one, you should do the same with the liabilities.
Lastly, ask your loved one about the extent of his or her estate planning and make sure the location of these documents is known by the executor.
By helping your loved one to get his or her financial affairs in order, you can provide the entire family a little more peace of mind in an emotional and overwhelming time.
And you cannot put a price tag on peace of mind.
Reference: Seniors Matter (Feb. 22, 2022) “How do I handle my father’s financial matters now that he’s in hospice?”