Americans Face Challenges in Taking Over Aging Parents’ Finances
Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 26, 2015 – When a parent becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to manage his or her own finances, a child or other caregiver needs to step in to pay bills and manage money and costs. Taking over a parent’s finances can be difficult, especially in the midst of the other challenges that families face during a loved one’s illness.
“If you are taking over your parent’s finances, a systematic, structured approach to gathering information is a great starting point,” said Andrew H. Hook, a Virginia elder law attorney with Hook Law Center, which has offices in Virginia Beach and northern Suffolk. “From there, you can identify what your resources are and what needs to be done.”
First, the children of a person in need should find out whether or not there is a durable power of attorney in place. If so, the person who was given power of attorney can take over the finances. If not, it will be necessary to go to court to get access to financial accounts.
Next, children can gather all of the information about their parent’s finances. This includes finding out where financial records are located; identifying where accounts are and what their account numbers are; identifying sources of income; and taking stock of monthly expenses and how they are usually paid. If the parent has a financial planner or accountant, that person should be contacted.
Insurance and benefits should also be examined. It is important to find out what medical insurance is in place, whether a long-term care policy was purchased and whether or not the parent qualifies for benefits from Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security.