Congratulations! You've just become a caregiver for your aging parent. The responsibility of caring for an elderly loved one is a huge one, but it can be made easier if everyone in your family pitches in and helps out. In addition to taking care of daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, transportation and medical appointments, managing finances is often a big job of being an adult child. Your parents may have been used to handling their own finances but now they need help making sure that bills get paid on time and their assets are protected from any scams or identity theft attempts—especially if they're not tech savvy.
Have a conversation with your parents about their finances.
Once you've decided to manage your parents' finances, the first thing to do is have a conversation with them. Ask them about their assets and liabilities, their monthly expenses, their credit card and bank accounts, and any retirement plans they have in place. If there are things that need to be changed or updated—such as a change of address or phone number—you can make those changes for them now so that bills are sent correctly.
The next step is to set up automatic payments for all bills that can be paid automatically (e.g., insurance payments). This will ensure that payments are made on time every month without requiring any action from your parents. You may also want to consider setting up an automatic investment plan with their broker or financial advisor (if applicable), but this isn't always necessary because it requires some work on your parents' end (they'll have to choose how much money they want invested each month).
If your parents aren't comfortable with technology, find a way to contact their financial institutions that works for you both.
If your parents are comfortable with email, an online form might be more convenient than going through the mail. If they’re fine with text messages, there’s no reason not to do it that way (but make sure you have their mobile number). And if they’re on social media like Facebook and Twitter, try using those instead of phone calls or emails—it can feel less intrusive when someone pops up in your timeline without warning!
It all depends on what works best for everyone involved.
Monitor your parents' credit card and bank accounts.
Monitor your parents' credit card and bank account activity. See if there are any suspicious charges, like a monthly subscription they didn't sign up for or a one-time ticket to the West Coast that they don't remember purchasing. Help them avoid overdraft fees by monitoring their accounts online and alerting them when their balance is low enough to trigger an overdraft charge.
Don't be afraid to ask for help managing your parents' bills from other siblings or friends.
You can ask for help from your siblings, friends, and other family members to manage your parents' bills. They may be more willing than you think; they often feel overwhelmed by the task themselves.
Some people might even be eager to take on some of the tasks associated with caring for elders, such as paying their bills or making sure their home is safe from intruders. This is why it's important that you don't let pride get in the way of asking others for assistance when your parent's needs change.
If you're managing your parents' finances for them, it's important to make sure all their bills are paid on time. You should also keep track of the balances on their credit cards and bank accounts, so you can alert them when they need to make a payment.
Managing the bills for your parents can be a lot of work, but it's worth it to keep them from having to worry about how they're going to pay their bills. If you have difficulty with technology or they're not comfortable using it, then find other ways to contact their financial institutions that work for both of you. Keep track of any assets they have so that you can manage them if need be. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help managing your parent's bills from other siblings or friends who may also have elderly parents in need of assistance with managing finances.
If you need help managing bills for a loved one, give our concierge service a try - we'll handle all aspects of bill management so that you don't have to. You can schedule a free consultation here: schedule consultation call with NestedFunds.
-The NestedFunds Team