Many of us are starting to notice that our elderly parents are experiencing memory loss which can affect their ability to make sound decisions about their personal finances. But like most, we are prone to making the mistake of waiting too long to act.
The consequences of avoiding discussing these problems can be dire. An elderly parent’s accounts can be closed, credit can be damaged, money can be lost to scam artists and worst of all, their homes could face foreclosure.
There are some steps you can take to avoid financial abuse in elderly dementia or Alzheimer’s sufferers.
Adult children should approach the subject early on. Begin talking to elderly parents about a plan before memory loss sets in. Discuss triggers that might signal a need for help in the future. Come up with a plan of action that everyone agrees on, in case such memory loss occurs.
The longer you wait to talk the more likely problems will arise, and will lead to greater conflict.
Adult children can recommend articles to elderly parents. Reading about common issues in a newspaper or journal may help start the discussion of financial security. Topics can range from scam artists to assistance from a money manager. Children can also share the steps they have taken to safeguard their finances and suggest helping their parents do the same.
The next step, once parents are willing to accept help, is to get all the necessary documents in order.
- A Revocable Living Trust
- A Pour Over Will
- A Power of Attorney
- Healthcare Directives
All these documents can help keep finances in order and ensure that elderly parents are not taken advantage of. If you have a Will a Living Trust isn’t necessary, but Will’s have to go to probate and that can cause a lot of assets to go towards paying for lawyers and court costs. As a trustee, a child can take direct control and there is no need to go to Court to ask a judge to give you the authority to make financial decisions for your parents.
With a little luck elderly parents will be receptive to these tips and some assistance.
Horntsein Law Offices can assist with helping you discuss these issues with elderly parents. We also can help you with the paper work and needed documentation. Give our office a call 818.887.9401.