Finances and Potential Problems

Q. “What can we do to help preserve our parent’s money? They’re ‘softies’, and someone is always coming to them for money.”
A. Our parents are having trouble managing family finances. The little things that were routine for them – paying bills, balancing the checkbook, making sound financial decisions – are coming undone.
When we’ve gone over we notice mail unopened, and new things lying around. When we question them about this, or about some of the expenses they have incurred, they say it’s none of our business. They’ve always taken care of their finances, and don’t need any help.

 

Questions to ask yourself:
  • Are they in danger of getting taken advantage of by strangers or solicitations by mail, phone or internet?
  • Have people taken advantage of them, financially?  Are they making too many donations?
  • Can you determine what’s going on with mom or day, and money?
  • How can we help them see what may be going on, and still allow them to keep control of their money?
  • Who do they trust? Who do we trust? If they’re comfortable can we find someone to go over some financial help, and to help explain their situation to them?
  • Do they need to have a “Power of Attorney” in place?
Helpful Tips:  Try and determine what the actual issues are. Are there physical, mental, or emotional challenges that make some tasks difficult? Do they have trouble writing checks? Are they forgetting when bills are due? Can someone sit down with them and discuss these issues? Have you discussed with them the idea of a family meeting to address these issues and get help?

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