With Mother’s Day approaching, remember that assisting elderly parents with money matters can be a sore subject, so let them know you want to make things easier for them, not take away their independence. It helps to allow them to continue controlling their checkbook, while meeting with them monthly to go through their bills. You can help manage their bank or investment accounts simply by getting their permission to access their accounts online. This allows you to watch for any out-of-the-ordinary payments or transfers. If something doesn’t seem right, you can react quickly without having to wait for your monthly meeting.
Finally, an honest discussion about estate planning, including powers of attorney and living trusts, can give the family more options if it becomes necessary.