Are You Ready To Manage Your Parent’s Money And Healthcare?

An article in this month’s Money Magazine about handling your parent’s money caught my eye because I just read something about buying long term care insurance for your parents and was giving it a lot of thought. The article in the magazine was about handling your parent’s money and what were the best ways to go about bringing up the subject with them. I found it to be pretty useful as I think about my mom’s future, and figured I would paraphrase a few of the main issues with my thoughts on each.

1. Talk to them about health care, and be sure they have a signed health-care proxy. I need to work on this with my mom.

2. Bring in some help if necessary. This could be an attorney, a CPA, or another kind of professional who deals with these issues.

3. Be an example for them. They tried to set a good example for you when you were growing up, it might be your turn to return the favor.

4. Create a list of their accounts, wills, directives. Having everything laid out in front of them might inspire them to allow you to help them.

5. Get them to sign a power or attorney which authorizes someone to manage their affairs. Another thing to ask my mom about…again.

6. Close any loopholes. Some banks/institutions require their own power of attorney forms to be signed; make sure all relevant forms for every bank are filled out and turned in.

7. Take your time going over everything. Not everyone thinks as fast as you might; just think about how young kids play video games that you could never master now! Take your time and explain everything you are doing so that they fully understand and can appreciate what you are doing for them.

I would venture to say that the most important thing to keep in mind is that your parents managed their lives for very long time and you might feel some resistance from them if you inquire about helping them. No one wants to feel like they cannot take care of themselves! So go slow, explain all the steps, and tell them you are just trying to help because you truly care about their well-being!

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Comments (10)

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  1. David – These are some great tips! My mother hasn’t been the greatest manager of her finances over the years. As a result, I know her retirement years are going to be financially challenging for her. Of course, this means that I might need to help her from time to time. This article has given me some things to think about.

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  3. This is just skimming the surface actually. Since I have handled my mom’s affairs for over two years, and my brother handled my dad’s you need quite a bit more than this states.

    You need to go with your parents to an attorney that is well versed in estates. This helps you know you have everything in place.

    The list is long what they missed. But just know it is not easy, but those who have done it can help you the most.

  4. david says:

    I agree Kathy, there is way more. This is just a starting point for most people.

  5. One more thing that I think helped me make peace with my mom’s journey thus far is she did her Power of Attorney, her Living Will and some other forms when she was perfectly crystal clear.

    Also remember they are not going to remember they made these decisions, and a power of attorney for the family allows you to make some changes to their life that may have not been anticipated.

    Long Term Insurance has benefits and challenges. Many are network oriented, sort of like HMOS. You can go to Assisted Living but only certain ones. Check out fully any of them. What works when your parent is great health may not when their health is failing.

    David anything I can help you with let me know it is mindfield out there! My brother helped me walk the tightrope!

  6. David says:

    Thanks Kathy, will definitely keep that in mind and I appreciate the offer!

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  10. Pinyo says:

    I have been slowly working with my parents on their finance, but it’s a challenge. They are quite old school and stubborn. 🙂