Sooner or later, most adult children reach a place where they need to step in and help manage their parents’ finances. This is a big responsibility, especially if your parents have deteriorating physical or mental health. Here are a few guidelines that can help make the process as smooth and as successful as possible.
Stepping in to Help Your Parents with Their Finances
- Start by just talking. Initiate a conversation early. Your parents may not need any help with their finances now, and that’s great. It’s still a good idea to broach the topic with them, find out their wishes, and lay a foundation for if and when you do need to get involved.
- Get organized. Ask your parents to walk you through their basic financial overview—assets, liabilities, bank accounts, where they keep their financial documents. Have a good sense for how things are arranged, so that if you ever do need to step in, you’ll be ready.
- Get a durable power of attorney. This important estate planning document, when signed by your parents, will give you the ability to make their financial decisions for them should they ever become incapacitated in any way.
- Ensure proper estate planning. Communicate with your parents about the important of wills and trusts to preserve their estate and make their final financial wishes known.
- One important part of financial management is simply maintaining a budget; if this is something your parents need help with, be ready to assist them in meeting all their monthly financial obligations.
- Automate and streamline. Whenever you can set up automatic bill paying or online bank statements, that’s probably going to be helpful.
If you need help with some of the long-term estate planning steps here, don’t hesitate to contact us directly at Singh Law Firm.