Many of our clients have aging parents and are often concerned about how they will meet the challenges of daily life – managing their finances, caring for their home, getting basic errands done – while still feeling independent and in control.
Author Glenn Ruffenach explores some of these issues in his May 7, 2012 SmartMoney article “Talking to Mom About Alzheimer’s and Her Money.”
Ruffenach stresses the importance of starting a dialogue with your parents, being on the lookout for red flags pointing to exploitation or forgetfulness, and getting basic estate planning documents in place.
In the article, Ruffenach talks with several experts to offer helpful language you can use to prompt an honest discussion about changing needs.
“You can share news articles with parents about scams targeting older adults — and ask to monitor their accounts for signs of abuse. … Or you can tell them about steps you’ve taken to safeguard your own finances and ask if they have similar plans. Sometimes, the simplest approach is best … Point out that, as they’ve aged, they’ve likely allowed others to help with tasks like yard work or home repairs — and that “there comes a time when we all need a ‘personal secretary’ to help with money.”
Don’t forget, as well, the power of personal example. When you’ve taken care of safeguarding your own future financial security, you’re in a better position to help and guide others.
Please don’t hesitate to call on our office for assistance or referrals to qualified professionals. We’ve helped many clients with these issues and are happy to share examples of how you and your parents can work together to ensure positive outcomes.