Discussing finances with aging parents can be a very difficult and sensitive conversation, but one that needs to take place. Adult children need to know that their parents have a plan and they need to know where to find key financial information. A family caregiver, especially one who has been appointed Power of Attorney, needs to have the proper information to be able to assist their parents when the time comes.
Try to have the “money talk” with parents as soon as possible, before any red flag health warnings arise, so that you can have a clear and level-headed conversation about how money matters should be dealt with. Make it clear that you’re not looking to take over but you just want to be of assistance in case of any emergency.
Here are some important financial questions to ask your aging parent:
- Do your parents have legal documents such as a will or any durable power of attorney forms? If so, where are they located?
- If a will exists, who is the executor?
- What financial assets do your parents have? Where do they keep statements for these accounts?
- Are there any advisors your parents work with? If so, where is the contact information for these advisors?
- Do your parents have any insurance policies? What about insurance for long-term, live-in care in West Hartford?
- Where do they keep Social Security cards?
- Do they have titles to their home, other real estate holdings, or vehicles, and where are these kept?
- Do they have a home safe or a bank safety deposit box? Where are they located, and where are the keys kept?
- Where do they keep copies of their recent income tax returns?
- Do they have any current loans or debts? Where are the documents for these loans?
- Is their beneficiary information current for any of their assets, holdings, insurance policies, or other assets?
Depending on your aging parent’s current state of mental and physical health, they may need assistance in locating these documents or they may resist getting help for fear of losing their independence. While these are never pleasant topics to discuss, taking the time to deal with them now will make things easier for everyone later.
While discussing such topics, it’s also a good idea to bring up things like living wills and trusts and what your loved one’s wishes are should they not be able to make a care decision on their own. Discussing things like whether your loved one would prefer to live at home or in a nursing home can help ensure that their wishes are met.
For more information on senior care services provided by Home Care Assistance of Greater Hartford, call 860-372-4500. Our friendly Care Managers are available to answer your questions 24/7.