A Basic Guide to Caring for Your Aging Parents

Filed under: Retirement

Lovely coupleIf you’re caring for aging parents, you might find yourself in an interesting position. Your own kids might be in college, or starting their own careers and families. They still need you! Meanwhile, your parents need help with legal and financial issues, or even daily care such as bathing, dressing, and taking medications. It can be difficult to keep track of all of these responsibilities. Take these steps, and you can streamline the financial and legal side of things.

Establish legal documents. Meet with an estate planning attorney, and draw up the correct protective legal documents. A durable power of attorney document allows a trusted individual (in this case, you) to manage all aspects of financial life in the case of disability or medical inability to make decisions.

In addition to financial considerations, there are medical issues to consider. An advance healthcare directive will allow you to make medical decisions on your parent’s behalf. Of course, serious issues such as life support should be subject to regular discussion so that you fully understand their wishes.

Finally, your parents should have drawn up a last will and testament already, so at this point you just need to ask the name of their lawyer, help them review the document, and update it if necessary. However, if your parents never took this important legal step, get it taken care of immediately.

Prepare records. During a time of duress, it can be difficult and stressful to remember all of the information you might need. Your parent might misplace their documents, so as power of attorney you should keep your own copies. Create a file including the following information, save a digital copy, and print a copy to be kept with other important documents.

  • Financial information – names and numbers for all bank accounts, retirement funds, and so on
  • Legal information – include copies of the will, durable power of attorney, and advance healthcare directive
  • Medical information – names of medical providers, a summary of medical history, list of medications and any allergies
  • Insurance information – name and phone number of all insurance providers
  • Copies of other records – Social Security cards, home and vehicle records, mortgage documents, tax returns, etc
  • Funeral and burial plans

Taking on a caregiving role can be overwhelming, but seeking advice from professionals can help. Don’t try to tackle everything alone; give us a call, and we can help with the financial end of things.

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This information has been provided by a licensed insurance professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting the insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax, trust and estate, or investment advice. Infinite Wealth Advisors is not an investment advisory firm.  Investment Advisory Services provided by NAMCOA® – Naples Asset Management Company®, LLC, a federally registered investment advisor, website: www.NAMCOA.com .