Day: June 4, 2019

a stack of elderly parents' finances piling up

How to Manage an Elderly Parents’ Finances

You’ve noticed some telltale signs that your elderly parents are becoming less capable of managing their finances. They may be making mistakes or letting bills pile up. (See last month’s blog, “When to Take Over Finances for Elderly Parents.”) Now comes the biggest challenge—how to help them with money matters or talk them into letting you take over completely. The Best Approach for Your Family Talking about finances can be a touchy subject, and you may find it especially difficult getting the conversation started. Maybe your parents have been open with you about their finances, but maybe they’ve never shared anything about how much money is on hand, coming in or going out. Some ideas to help you get started might be: Share what you have done to get your finances in order. Then ask your parents if they have done similar things. Share a story you’ve heard or read that’s about what another elderly person has done, as things became more difficult for them to handle their finances alone. Ask what you can do to help them. Involve just a few family members. That can be less intimidating than a meeting with the whole family. You don’t want them to feel like you’re ganging up on them. Focus on how helping them will help you to worry less about them. Don’t focus primarily on their physical or mental decline. Make them part of an ongoing conversation. Let them give as much input as they can and make their feelings be known. Get an objective third party involved, like a religious leader, a family attorney or their financial planner. Preserve their dignity. Be aware of their need to be as independent as possible. Keep the conversation respectful and light-hearted. Ways to Transition Slowly If they haven’t already put regular bills,

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