Note: I have heard a great many people very near my age talking about managing their parents money during a very difficult time in their life. I thought you might be interested in this article submitted to me by Richard Jacobs. He makes some very good points. I also thought it would be good for those of us approaching a time when our children will need to help us to see how younger people feel about our problems. Read and let me know what you think. b
As a child, you remember those moments when your parents taught you about the importance of money, how to start saving money for your future, helping you in handling your finances and allowances. As time passes, these roles begin to reverse. Sooner or later the time to help your aging parents cope with their illnesses and problems, especially financial problems will begin. Here are some tips to help your parents manage their money.
Don’t wait too long...If your parents are still young, don’t think that you can wait before bringing up this topic in discussion. If you have this conversation early enough, you can help your parents prepare for the worst,. Illness or even death of a partner can be emotionally devastating.
Some people wait to discuss the issue with their parents until they see signs that their parents are having issues managing their money. These signs could be in the form of unpaid bills, pending chores like cleaning house, grocery shopping etc. Some of these reasons could be due to physical problems and illnesses, but you need to step in at the right time to help them.
When you decide to help your parents, you need to get some information from them. The details of their assets, their incomes and expenses as well as the details of any liabilities and debts, like credit cards or loans might included on the list. You will also need other information like their Social Security Numbers, detail of their insurance policies, health records, savings and investments, tax returns, details of their legal advisors, insurance agents, accountants, the location of their safe deposit boxes and their keys along with similar information.
In some cases, if both your parents are ill, or if one of them passes away, it might become necessary for you to take over the administration of your parents’ finances. However, if you do take over, it is important that you respect their rights and wishes. Don’t try to be in charge, but give them as much control as possible. Involve them in all the decisions and keep them informed about every financial decision you make for them.
It may be awkward for you to bring such a topic of discussion with your parents, but it is the right thing to do. It will not only benefit your parents by making their life easy, but it will also give you a chance to return and thank your parents for everything they did for you when you were young.