For many of us, we understand how to care for our aging parents’ health and home, but what about their finances? For many families in America, finances are a very personal topic that is difficult for aging parents to hand over to their children to help manage. In honor of Financial Literacy Month, the experts at Choice Health Management are laying down some guidelines that may help you help your aging parents with their finances.
- Figure out if your parents need your help – anything from physical impairments or mental impairments to loss of the spouse that handled finances or parents who are immigrants and lack understanding of American tax procedures may cause you to determine they need your help.
- Discuss fully with your parents – if you determine that your aging loved one needs your help, voice your concerns, express possible consequences if the situation remains and discuss how you could assist them with their finances.
- Start the process – once you’ve done steps 1 and 2, jump in and take stock of the full situation. This should include tracking down lost documents, determining bills and identifying sources of income, bank accounts and investments.
- Consider joining accounts – you may want to make your assistance official by creating a joint account or single-owner account with an authorized signer.
- Other resources – familiarize yourself with the process for setting up a representative payee for social security benefits and financial power of attorney.
If these steps look like more than you can handle, there are professionals that may be able to help you. Talk to your local accountants, financial advisors or daily money management programs that offer support for elders.
Choice Health Management cares deeply about your loved one’s overall wellness and is happy to offer resources if you have questions about financial support for your loved one.