How To Help Elderly Parents Manage Their Finances
Elderly parents are worth more than gold. After all, their invaluable advice, support, and love are the foundations that helped shape our lives. When we have the opportunity to give something back to them, we should be proud to take on the responsibility.
Managing finances is one of the aspects that the elderly would need some assistance with daily. Friends and family may notice that certain parts of the finances are not getting the attention they should.
When this happens, the various ways of helping them should be considered by those closest to them. Some of the elderly may be resistant to handing over their finances, but here are some tips on how to help them.
- Discuss The Management Of Their Finances
Families need to collectively decide when it would be the right time to discuss finances with their elderly parents. Instead of forcing them to choose, have an open and honest conversation with them.
The discussions should occur sooner rather than later, as it may be increasingly difficult for older adults to consent and grasp the severity of their financial situation. To keep everyone in the loop with the planning and execution of the financials, families can use an application with a shared platform where everyone can be involved.
Doing a simple internet search for additional info on these apps would provide results families can consider when making their decisions.
- Incorporate Small Changes To Their Routines
Get your parents used to the new routine by starting with minor changes rather than throwing everyone into the deep end.
You may ask your parents if a family member can handle their monthly bill payments and, when this is going well, incorporate more and more elements of their financial profile.
- Store Personal Financial Documents For Them
With age, our memories start to regress and fail us at times. Elderly parents struggle to keep track of their sensitive financial documents, meaning that vital information could get lost.
Offer to help them store the documents in a manner that would make sense to them and keep copies of the documents saved elsewhere as a backup.
- Organize Their Expenses And Other Financial Tasks
Older people are not always aware of the technological advances that could simplify the handling of their finances. They are often unwilling to learn the new ways and would reject the idea of moving some functions over to a digital platform.
Assuring them that you’ll assist them with these functions would give them more peace of mind, and they may feel better about others organizing their expenses and financial responsibilities.
- Discuss The Legalities Of Helping Them
When dealing with financial issues, there’s a possibility of scamming the elderly out of their life savings. Financial institutions have stringent rules about access to accounts and the management thereof to prevent this.
Banks, brokers, bookkeepers, and financial advisors would usually request that there be a signed power of attorney on file for the elderly parents. This document gives the family member responsible for handling the finances the legal right to act on their parents’ behalf.
- Keep Everyone Informed And Have A Record
Keep a record of each decision, transaction, or financial move made throughout the process so that no finger-pointing can happen after the fact. Having clear descriptions of the finances would be essential where families disagree about dealing with the finances each time.
Create an informal log on the shared application, so everyone stays informed with each transaction. Family members can then provide feedback on the app for everyone to discuss.
- Their Finances Should Remain Separate
Although it may be tempting to merge the elderly parents’ financial profile with your own, families should never do this. Ensure that they have their own identity and some form of independence by having separate financials.
Furthermore, keeping things apart would prevent disputes between family members. There may also be tax implications and other legal issues that may arise from merging, which families should keep in mind.
The Final Say
Parents should be involved in their finances until it becomes impossible for them to do so. Before their mental capacity or physical health deteriorates, measures should be in place to manage their financial situation.
Family members can discuss the best way to handle the financials and could appoint a proxy that will act on their parents’ behalf. This person would usually be the spokesperson for the family and ensure their parents’ best interests are taken to heart.
Taking care of your elderly parents is a privilege, so provide your parents with the peace of mind that their financial situation is safe and secure.