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Helping to Manage an Aging Parent’s Estate and Finances

This often happens after watching your parents navigate various jobs, raise a family and interact responsibly in all parts of their lives. Yet the day often comes around when you not only have to stop an accident-prone parent from driving – you may also have to gently assume control of his or her finances.

            A recent article published by Fox business.com directly addresses this delicate issue of helping your parents recognize when they're too overwhelmed to keep managing their own everyday finances.

Important Facts to Bear in Mind When Taking over Financial Matters

  • Always allow your ailing parent to feel as though he or she is still in control. As the article referenced above notes, it hurts every adult’s feelings to have to acknowledge his or her mental faculties are failing. Consider starting out by simply having your mom or dad sit down with you -- providing you with general guidance -- while you ask for help in creating a master list of every debt owing -- and every monthly expense. Next, inquire if your parent has been paying any bills online so you can obtain the required usernames/passwords. You can then simply convert such accounts back to payment by check only. You are now ready to start writing out the checks to pay all of the bills currently owing;
  • If your parent needs help managing major estate assets, such as various homes or properties, try to schedule a family meeting. You'll need to try and minimize all discordant jealousies so all properties can be managed properly. If old sibling rivalry issues (or conflicts with other family members) develop regarding these management issues, consider hiring an outside expert (or financial investment group) to step in to provide the objectivity many family members may be demanding;
  • Don’t forget that dementia is a reality – never allow your parents or other family members to ignore clear signs of this illness. “Almost half of all Americans who are past the age of 85 [and many who are much younger – according to other sources] will experience some form of dementia . . . It's an inevitable part of the aging process.” Consider contacting a local (or online) Alzheimer's group to learn more in order to better address your parent’s needs at each new step along the way;
  • Obtain a Durable Power Of Attorney. Make sure your parents choose at least one trusted relative -- whether it's you, a sibling or another relative -- to step into this position. Your Peachtree City estate planning attorney can draw up the document you’ll need. (It's important that a secondary or backup person is also named in this same document).

 

To obtain help with satisfying all of your Georgia estate planning needs, please contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today.  You can schedule your free initial consultation with a knowledgeable Peachtree City estate planning attorney by calling: (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia