Your aging parents may need assistance with financial matters.
Your parents are getting older.
As such, they are starting to forget little things.
These little things could become a bid deal if they involves their finances.
According to recent ABC7 On Your Side story titled “Six tips for managing an elderly parent’s finances,” adult children may need to step in and help their aging parents manage their money.
How do you do this?
Track down any important financial or personal documents.
What should you look for?
You should gather banking documents for checking or savings accounts, brokerage accounts, and credit cards.
Find estate planning documents such as advance health care directives, general durable powers of attorney, last wills, and revocable living trusts for your aging parents.
Look for insurance policies and anything related to retirement such as pensions, Medicare information, pension records, and Social Security information.
Identify all professional advisors and service providers.
These include financial intuitions, safe deposit boxes, financial advisors, CPAs, and estate planning attorneys.
This information will prove vital in an emergency.
Use automated direct deposit.
Direct deposit will make the transfer of funds more secure and simpler.
Criminals will be unable to steal pension and benefit checks from the mail of your elderly relative.
There is no fear of checks getting lost at home either.
Set up automatic bill payment.
Making payments automatic will decrease the opportunities for late payment penalties if forgotten by an aging parent.
If automatic payments concern your parents, see if they will agree to online payments.
This allows them to save time and energy on trips to the post office.
Have your parents prepare a “General Durable Power of Attorney.”
A general durable power of attorney will allow you to act as a financial agent on behalf of your parent should they become incapacitated.
Have your parents prepare an “Advance Health Care Directive.”
This fundamental health care document consists of two key components: the “health care treatment directive” and the “durable power of attorney for health care decisions.”
The health care treatment directive allows you to provide guidance regarding medical care you would want (or not want) were you to have a either terminal condition or substantial brain damage or brain disease which cannot be significantly reversed.
The durable power of attorney for health care decisions functions like the general durable power of attorney, but for medical decisions.
Guard against fraud.
The elderly are targets for scammers.
Protect the finances of your aging parents by remaining vigilant.
Remember to work with an experienced estate planning attorney to set your aging parents up for success in financial matters.
Reference: ABC7 On Your Side (September 5, 2019) “Six tips for managing an elderly parent’s finances”