Many seniors often have difficulty managing their finances at a certain point, and it comes down to their adult children to assist with these matters. It’s important to know what you’re getting into when you begin assisting an elderly parent with their financial affairs, especially if legal intervention is required.
To start, you’ll need to examine your parent’s current situation and in what areas they need help. This may require conversations with doctors or other caregivers to determine if there are any cognitive issues of concern and also looking at recent financial transactions to determine if help is needed. This is especially important if your elderly parent is responsible for writing checks for rent, utilities, or other expenses that may have a serious impact if payment is not received on time.
If it’s determined that your parents do in fact need assistance, there are some necessary steps to take. Your parents must be made aware that they require help, and that you or other family members can take on that responsibility. An elder law attorney or senior caregiver can assist with these conversations to try to make it easier for your parents, since they will be essentially giving up control of their finances to their children. In addition, you may need to have a Power of Attorney drafted in order to have access to their finances and make decisions in your parent’s best interest. If their finances reside in a Revocable Living Trust, then you may need to speak to your parents and an attorney about taking over as a Successor Trustee.
If it’s clear that your parents can no longer make financial decisions but are unwilling to give up control of their finances, or if they’re no longer capable of making these types of decisions, you may want to speak to an experienced elderly law attorney about placing your parents in a guardianship/Conservatorship. A Guardian/Conservator is named by the court as an individual, usually a family member but sometimes a third party, who can make financial and medical decisions for the conserved person.
We are here to help you finalize your family member’s affairs so that you can move through the process in the least stressful way possible. Simply contact our law office at 215-473-4353 or you may click the link below to book a free discovery call to talk to an attorney: