As our senior loved ones age, we may start seeing physical and mental signs of decline. While some signs are not worrisome, others may be more concerning: anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, and mishandling money. These could indicate more serious issues and are risky behaviors. So here are four things you can do to help your aging loved one manage their finances.
Four Ways to Help Your Aging Loved One Manage Finances
by Andrea Needham, Guest Columnist
1. Stepping Up to Help With Daily Tasks
As they age, your loved one may start having difficulty remembering important things such as taking their medications and getting refills on time. If you notice your loved one is no longer able to keep track of due dates for their bills or forgets to pick up their mail and leaves letters unopened, it is time for a conversation. Ask them if you can take charge of their finances in order to avoid overdraft fees, missed due dates, and other potential problems.
If you live far away or if you cannot visit regularly, consider hiring an Aging Life Care Manager® to check on your loved one, assess their needs, and recommend on-going services. Share a calendar with their care team to let them know about appointments, and make a readily-accessible list of phone numbers that include doctors, pharmacies, banking institutions, and emergency numbers.
2. Finding a Suitable Rental
Another consideration is your loved one’s living arrangement. A popular option is finding a new, accessible, rental home or apartment, which means less maintenance than owning a home. When scouting rentals, look in neighborhoods with the amenities they need. View online listings to find properties in their price range to locate the perfect place.
3. Getting Power of Attorney
Ask your senior loved one if they’re willing to grant you power of attorney, which will allow you to make medical and/or financial decisions for them when they’re no longer able to do so. A power of attorney is a flexible document that lets your loved one (the principal) specify what decisions can be made on their behalf by another person (the agent). The principal can amend or make changes to that document at any time, provided they are of sound mind.
Once you fill out the required forms and have them notarized, print extra copies for your records and put them in a safe place. Being legally prepared before your loved one becomes ill or incapacitated will give both of you peace of mind – taking the guesswork out of what should happen and knowing that your loved one’s wishes will be respected in the event they’re no longer able to clearly communicate.
4. Closing or Selling Your Loved One’s Business
When your loved one owns a business but can no longer manage it, it is time to close or sell it. There are many steps involved in dissolving an LLC or corporation, so consult with an accountant or attorney in order to avoid penalties. You will have to gather all documents pertaining to the company such as articles of incorporation and operating agreement and be able to provide a potential buyer with several years of tax returns, profit and loss statements, and client/vendor contracts, etc.
Get a professional business valuation in order to properly and objectively determine its value. A good business broker will help you come up with a number by analyzing the company’s management, capital structure, future earnings, and market value of its assets, and will facilitate and streamline the selling process.
It can be a difficult conversation, but it is important. Take time to discuss your loved one’s financial situation. Together, come up with a plan that will keep them financially secure. You’ll have greater peace of mind knowing that everything is in order.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, nor is it intended to be a substitute for, professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Information on this blog does not necessarily reflect official positions of the Aging Life Care Association® and is provided “as is” without warranty. Always consult with a qualified professional with any particular questions you may have regarding your or a family member’s needs.