The time may come when your aging loved one can no longer handle their financial responsibilities. Discussing finances is a delicate but important conversation. With a sensitive approach, you can work with your loved one slowly, making the transition as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Here are a few tips for taking on the management of your loved one’s finances:
Discuss Finances Early
Try to speak to them sooner than later about finances, especially if they have growing health concerns. You can simply bring it up in conversation. “Who will handle your affairs if problems ever arise?” The National Institute on Aging recommends parents give advance written consent to a designated family member.
You can go so far as to discuss the Power of Attorney with them. Whoever they designate as power of attorney not only helps control finances but also discusses critical medical factors with their doctors like their treatment plans.
Spend Time Together
Sit down with them and pay bills together to help your loved ones trust you. Go over their budget with them, showing you how they properly paid things before the new arrangement. This allows you and your loved one to get used to the new arrangement and can help them see you only have their best interest at heart.
When you are going over the budget, show them how they can switch retirement funds to direct deposits (if they were not switched already) and double-check the insurance is still valid and vital paperwork is up to date. Once you have reviewed and made sure all paperwork is accurate, secure it in a safe place where only you and your loved one can access it easily.
Communicate with your loved one anytime you are paying bills from their accounts. You should also keep excellent documentation, including receipts, to avoid any future misunderstandings.
Keep your finances separate from your loved one’s finances. It may seem convenient to combine finances, but this is a slippery slope. It is also a sure-fire way to decrease your loved one’s feelings of independence and possibly their trust.
At Next Day Access, we understand the many challenges of caring for an aging loved one. We hope these tips will make speaking to your loved one about finances easier. We enjoy lending our support through the advice you can find on our blogs as well as by offering many different products in-store to make your loved one safe and comfortable at home.