Taking Care of Your Elderly Parents’ Finances

Elderly Concerned Woman

"When they are having trouble understanding bills and writing checks it might be time to step in, slowly, at the ground level," Kolinsky said adding that if parents initiate a discussion, the ideal time would be when they are in their 70s and still healthy.

As children, we depend on our parents for all financial needs.  And many young adults (and grown ones too) still seek financial help or advice from mom and dad. But there will come a time when that assistance will need to be reciprocated back to our parents in their later years.

The key to an effective transition, while preserving the dignity of all involved, is communication.

A recent article in CNBC recently offered advice to adult children and their elderly parents. The article titled “When Adult Children Become Financial Caregivers” suggested six steps.

While you can read the original article for the detail, the steps are as follows:

  1. Knowing the Right Time to Talk
  2. Framing a Sensitive Subject
  3. Building Trust
  4. Sibling Responsibilities
  5. Maximizing Efficiency
  6. Maximizing Inherited IRA

The basic principle to bear in mind is that both the elderly parents and the adult children have to assume and understand their roles. This is key for a family transition to move gracefully. This means communication, not only between parents and adult children, but likewise between adult children working together on behalf of the family as a whole.

Naturally, this is all easier said than done. In truth, there are any number of principles and rules for this transition, but the six from the original article certainly are a helpful start.

To talk with an estate planning attorney, visit www.elderlawannarbor.com.

Reference: CNBC (June 3, 2013) “When Adult Children Become Financial Caregivers