Helping Your Aging Parents with Their Finances

As your parents get older, your roles may be reversed and you may need to help them manage their finances. It can be uncomfortable to start the conversation, but the following steps can help.

Ask them to let you know where they keep their important documents (such as their wills, insurance policies, and account information) so you’ll be able to access them in an emergency. It’s also a good time to find out about their regular bills and to suggest ways they can make their daily finances simpler, such as automating recurring payments.

Talk with them about getting legal documents to help with health-care decisions. A health-care proxy lets them designate someone to make medical decisions on their behalf if they can’t do so themselves. A living will lets them state their wishes for end-of-life care. If you’re creating these documents in your own estate planning, that would be a good way to broach the subject with your parents about doing the same thing.

You can also talk with them about getting a durable power of attorney for finances, which designates a trusted person to make financial decisions on their behalf if they’re unable to do so themselves.


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