Helping Elderly Parents Struggling with Debt
Although having elderly parents alive usually feels like a blessing, helping them handle financial matters can be stressful for both of you. The emotional side of dealing with aging parents can be taxing enough, but many children also often feel obliged to take on their finances. That means helping ensure they are making responsible choices by not exceeding what they can afford to spend each month.
For starters, calculating necessary items such as food and medication with any extra purchases is important, as well as paying off credit cards and other loans. However, many seniors are particularly reluctant to accept role reversals with their children as they begin to rely on them more and more.
It can be particularly worthwhile to invest some of your parents’ money to help them ultimately pay for their expenses. Reviewing what they spend their money on with them, both everyday items and luxuries, to include them in the process and help them organize their financial matters can be very effective. This enables them to maintain their dignity and some control over their own lives.
Individuals with minimal investments and extra money should work with a financial advisor to decipher the best way to manage it. Direct investments into low-fee mutual funds are often a good decision, but credit counselling in Kingston or Ottawa is recommended to discuss with licensed insolvency trustees. They can also assist with matters relating to elderly parent debt help or bankruptcy in Kingston.
For everyone, assigning a power of attorney and executor of their will is important in the event that they become incapacitated or pass away suddenly. Sharing this role with siblings may be best, as long as your parents agree, to ensure no one takes advantage of their authority. If everyone gets involved in helping your parents, this can help you avoid potential fighting or ill will down the road. By choosing tasks you each excel at, you can also help save your mother and father money.
If both parents are alive and still married, it is advisable to ensure they have joint accounts to avoid any roadblocks when one passes. Assuring them that you are not after the money for yourselves may also be necessary. It can be easy to mix your financial matters together, but highly recommended to keep separate and not let your own finances suffer. In the long run, you would not want to subject your children to potential debt and create a vicious cycle.
To help your parents without compromising their self-respect and dignity, gently offer to help manage their money with them, including paying bills and filing income tax returns. That way, you can also keep a close eye on their financial situation and keep them from becoming overwhelmed by these matters and ultimately neglecting them. Suggest consulting with a professional regarding elderly parent debt help or bankruptcy in Kingston, or credit counselling in Kingston or Ottawa, together.
For those with substantial savings accounts, setting up automatic withdrawals for monthly bill payments that do not vary, such as insurance and mortgage or rent to make it easier. Other items, such as credit card, hydro, telephone, cable and internet, are safer to review first. Furthermore, ensure you know where their important documents are―including keys to any safety deposit boxes, credit card information, banking and PIN codes, wills, life insurance, any professionals who help them, and anyone who owes them or to whom they owe money―in advance of any possible injuries or fatalities.
Financial advisors have many roles, including helping you manage the finances of your aging parents. D. & A. MacLeod offers elderly parent debt help or bankruptcy in Kingston to ensure you feel comfortable and confident with this extra responsibility. Accumulating debt problems is not any less significant for seniors, which can result in greater difficulties when it comes to obtaining a loan for a residence or vehicle.