Assisting a parent financially — November 2011, reviewed January 2013
November is National Caregiver Month, a time to thank, support, educate and empower family caregivers. Often the assistance and support that children need to give parents includes financial guidance and sometimes financial support. Here are some suggestions for dealing with this part of the caregiving job:
- Encourage parents to share their personal and financial records to make it easier to assist them. This could be very difficult for family members to do since this information is considered ‘private’ and the parent may fear loss of control. Explain that you aren’t being ‘nosy’ but simply want to be prepared to help.
- Find out the location of important documents such as a will, marriage and birth certificates, military records. Find out the names and phone numbers of their advisors like a lawyer or an insurance agent.
- A child may also need some type of legal authority, such as durable power of attorney to handle the parents’ financial transactions as well. If not already done, arrange for direct deposit of regular income streams such as Social Security or a pension.
- Figure out the parent’s net worth, which is assets minus debts, and develop a budget or plan to pay basic living expenses. Help parents stretch their assets as long as possible by checking into any public benefits they may be eligible for.
Day in and day out, more than 65 million family caregivers in this country fulfill a vital role on the care team. Financial support is just one part of an often difficult job. For more information check out the University of California Extension Financial Caregiving publication series available online at no charge at http://ucanr.org .
Direct weblink: https://ucanr.org/freepubs/finalpage.cfm?s=8379&cat=36&subcat=38