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Taking Care of an Elderly Relative’s Finances

Wondering when it might be necessary for you to take care of an elderly relative’s finances?

They may certainly need help if they are suffering from a serious mental illness such as dementia, or any other mental health problems which impairs the ability to make (and remember) important decisions.

If they’re making use of the best home care Chesterfield or Macomb MI has to offer because of physical health issues, they might still appreciate the assistance depending on how serious the physical problems are. Many physical disabilities will make it difficult for them to the Post Office or the bank, for example. They might even have an issue which prevents them writing letters or typing on a computer.

If they’re feeling under the weather, with the flu, for example, it’s also best to step in and oversee any financial commitments they may have.

The extent of the helping hands you offer will be down to your relative’s health and personal circumstances. If they are still mentally capable of making decisions that makes things easier, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re as clued up about personal finances as you are, so you might still want to offer advice.

How to Help

List all the organizations they deal with, plus any relevant account/customer numbers. For example, their bank, utility providers, savings and investments. This list will be useful if you have to warn them about a change of address or deteriorating health condition.

It is against the terms and conditions of most bank accounts for you to run someone else’s account using their PIN or online banking details, but there are ways you can help out.

The best way to help is by getting your parent to sign a third-party mandate form. This essentially gives their bank permission for you to make decisions on their behalf.

Another option is opening a joint account, although that would mean half of their money becomes yours for tax purposes. You might have a higher income tax or inheritance tax bill as a result.

Automation

Many older people never get around to setting up standing orders or direct debits to pay regular bills, because they’re stuck in their ways and prefer to do it old-style ways like via check.

Helping them up set up direct debits or standing orders can save both of you a lot of time and stress when it comes to paying bills in the future, especially if comes to the point where they need the finest home care Chesterfield or Macomb has to offer.

Your parents will need to request and sign a direct debit mandate, but it’ll be worth the hassle in the long run. Many firms offer discounts for people who pay by direct debit, so this might save your mom or dad some money too.