Adult children often help their parents make medical and health care decisions. If you are also helping your parents with money management and bill paying, this makes you a financial caregiver.
Your main role as a financial caregiver could include:
- determining the right long-term care that meets a loved one’s needs
- helping them with money management
- protecting them from financial fraud
- bill paying and tax preparation
Taking on the finances of others can be a stressful ordeal. Here are the ways that you can encourage health financial practices now and start protecting your loved one’s financial future.
Start A Conversation
Ideally, you’ll want to start having financial discussions with your elder loved ones as soon as possible. Having plans in motion before a loved one’s health deteriorates can avoid a lot of confusion, reduce disagreements, and provide a larger amount of financial options for your family.
The best way to know how to address your loved one’s needs is by assessing their current financial status and discussing what their goals and preferences are for future years.
- Do they have long-term care insurance?
- Where are their assets located?
- Are they uncomfortable with moving to an assisted living facility?
These are great questions to start asking to understand how you can best guide them financially.
In order to be able to help with finances you’ll not only need to know where important documents are located, you’ll also need to obtain the proper access to make major financial decisions.
Find out if any wills, trusts, and life insurance policies are in place, and locate medical documents, health insurance information, military discharge paperwork, important tax and social security documents. Get access to bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, and other assets that may be in your loved one’s name.
Help your loved one to understand the purpose and importance of completing these essential documents:
- Will or Living trust
- Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney
- The need to avoid Guardianships and Conservatorships (should your loved one become fully incapacitated and not have completed the proper planning)
All of these documents will help determine how you should handle certain financial situations in the event that your loved one can no longer make those decisions themselves.
Seek Financial and Legal Advice
As much planning and preparation you do to fit your loved one’s needs and wants, speaking with a financial planner or elder law attorney who specializes in elder financial issues will ensure that you’ve properly planned for your family’s future without overlooking crucial details.
Look for financial planners and elder law attorneys who have experience with Medicaid, estate planning, and long-term care insurance.
Take Care of You
The most important part of being a financial caregiver is also remembering your financial needs and limitations. Don’t be afraid to admit that you need help. Recruit the help of close relatives and communicate with them on a regular basis about your loved one’s financial goals. The best way to be able to fully take care of others is to take care of yourself first.
For more information on how you can properly plan for your loved one’s financial future contact the elder law attorneys at the Law Offices of Christina Lesher, PC at (713) 529-5900 today.