Financial Caregiving?

March 19, 2016

basics6

Q: What exactly is it?

A: Well, just as it sounds, you are taking care of your senior’s finances. This usually involves any or all of the list below:

  • Bill paying
  • Savings deposits
  • Insurance and benefit claims
  • Investment decisions
  • Taxes
  • Any other financial issues that may arise for your senior.

 

Q: When should I consider becoming a financial caregiver?

A: In a perfect world, you may have already discussed the situation with your parent/senior before any payments or deposits are missed and put a plan in place. However, this usually is not the case. So, when you begin to notice that the bills are not being paid on a regular basis, checks are not being deposited, taxes are not paid, etc. ask your senior if they would like some help with their finances. You can discuss whether you senior would prefer to your help, getting help from a neutral third party and/or designated a financial power of attorney. It is important to get that financial support in place as bad investments and poor decision can impact your senior’s standard of living and possibly lead to family conflict.

Q: Are there any legal steps I need to take to become a “financial caregiver”?

A: Your senior can designate an agent or give someone (you?) financial power of attorney. A lawyer is essential in designating powers of attorney and consultation on other financial/legal matters. If you senior does not already have a lawyer consider finding one who is well versed in elder issues.

Q: What if I have questions?

A: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published guides titled “Managing Someone Else’s Money” (consumerfinance.gov/blog/managing-someone-elses-money/). Information is provided that will help you provide the best financial management while protecting your senior and yourself from liability, exploitation or family conflict.

Another resources is the Foundation for Financial Plannin(http://www.foundationforfinancialplanning.org/) which provides excellent downloadable workbooks and worksheets that will help you and your senior put together a financial plan as well as resources for low cost financial planning services.

 

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