Family discussions surrounding money and finances can often be awkward. And for adult children, having these conversations can be especially difficult with aging parents. You might be seeing a decline in your loved one’s health and/or cognitive abilities that could be impacting their ability to manage money. Some signs to watch for include:
- Forgetting to pay bills.
- Making unnecessary purchases.
- Being confused about their accounts.
It may take some time to convince your loved ones that you have their best interests at heart. To avoid conflict, consider bringing in a neutral third-party. An elder attorney, financial planner or other qualified professional can help you navigate the process.
Taking the following steps can help identify problems and protect your loved one’s finances.
Budgeting and bill-paying. Pay monthly bills, reconcile checking accounts and set up a realistic budget.
Review medical insurance. Ensure that premiums are paid on time, file necessary paperwork and follow up on reimbursements.
Financial and legal planning. Make sure financial and legal needs are handled properly. Does your loved one have legal documents like a will and power of attorney? Are beneficiary-designated accounts up-to-date?
Prepare and file income tax returns. Gather documentation and receipts throughout the year to take advantage of tax deductions and credits.
Handle government and other benefits. Check on Social Security payments, pensions, disability and veteran’s benefits.
Move Forward with Confidence
A trusted family member who lives nearby may be the best person to manage your loved one’s financial needs. Even with their help, it may be worthwhile to hire a professional. They can answer questions and assist with:
- Providing updates on state and federal taxes.
- Reviewing financial statements.
- Revising legal and/or financial documents when needed.
- Avoiding errors and missed opportunities.
- Safeguarding against financial fraud.
For more information or to meet with a Seaside Client Advisor at Seaside Bank and Trust, call 407.567.2222 or view our personal banking solutions.
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Reliable Resources for Families and Older Adults
The following organizations provide helpful information and resources to deal with the challenges of aging.
General information about aging: The National Council on Aging works with nonprofits, government agencies and businesses to advocate for older adults. Visit ncoa.org to learn more about the programs and services they offer.
Scams and identity theft: The Federal Trade Commission offers information about recognizing and reporting elder financial abuse, scams targeting seniors and avoiding identity theft. Visit ftc.gov to learn more.
Financial literacy: For basic information about saving, investing and managing money, visit mymoney.gov. The site offers online calculators, budget worksheets and financial checklists.