Looking After Elderly Parents’ Finances
As your parents get older, it might become necessary for you to assist them in managing their finances. Or if they choose, you may need to manage their finances on their behalf if they no longer wish to, or aren’t able to.
Here are some tips to help you assist your parents:
Have a discussion: Sit down with them and talk about what you can do to help. If it seems like they’re getting defensive, don’t push the topic. Try to approach it at a time when they’re open to receiving help. Questions you might like to raise include: How do they manage their cash-flow? What bills do they receive each quarter, and how are they placed for paying their bills on time? Do they have investments? And if so, are they receiving regular interest or dividends to help pay their bills? Do they have a budget? And don’t forget to ask – do they have any financial worries or concerns?
Figure It Out: If your parents have concerns or they are happy for you to help, sit down with them and work through their current financial status. Do they have an accountant or financial planner? Find out their bank account details, and if they’ve named an ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’ (financial). And whilst you are discussing this, ask if they have put in place an ‘Enduring Guardianship’ (medical). Where do they keep their financial records? How do they pay their bills? What insurance cover do they have? What income streams do they have (pensions, rental income, investments)? Does any action need to be taken now or on a regular basis to ensure that this income keeps coming in for them?
Take Action: You may find that your parent’s finances are in great shape, and there’s nothing you need to do. In other cases, you might need to do something to help. This might include documenting your parent’s incomings and outgoings, working out a budget, creating direct debits for bills if need be, or changing their banking structure to reduce fees. If their situation is more complex, you may need to accompany your parents to their Accountant or Financial Planner for a review of their situation and Government entitlements.
Finances can become a concern to parents as they get older. Giving them your support could ease their worries and give them more financial security.
Contact us for more tips to help you look after elderly parents.