By Ann Ruckdaschel
One of the most difficult things to discuss with elderly parents is their finances, but it is also one of the most important and complicated. Financial information is usually held as almost Top Secret, with nobody but the account holders knowing the full picture. In reality, your elderly parents likely have several bank accounts, pensions, retirement benefits, 401-Ks, social security benefits, and also likely have a safe deposit box or boxes, and not all of these are with the same institution. In addition, there may be one or several investment accounts with different brokerages. Knowing the institutions and locations of accounts, etc. is critical, as are the companies and organizations that the pensions and investments are with.
I personally have separate files with this information, but it would be much easier for my children if I had this information written down all in one place as it would save them time from having to search for things. Another important item to know is if there is a long term care insurance policy that may pay for future cares. Are there any life insurance policies? If there is a safety deposit box, where is the key?
A good idea would be to have them list all of the accounts, policies, and any other financial information with user IDs and passwords and place the list in their safe deposit box so in the event anything happens, someone would have access to them without a long search.
Having a conservator to organize, monitor, and assist with financial matters can also be helpful. For example, a conservator could be tasked with paying bills for elderly parents that may forget to pay them. A conservator would also be on the lookout for those that prey on the elderly to swindle them out of their money.
If you’d like to get more information about this and other topics covered in this series, or just don’t know where to start, Prairie Rose Care Management is here to help. Contact us to arrange for a brief consultation to get your questions answered.