Your aging parent wants you to serve as a guardian, which involves becoming a money manager. While you manage your finances well, you may have little to no experience managing someone else’s. What should you know to take proper financial care of your loved one?
AARP offers money-managing tips for caregivers and guardians of vulnerable adults. Get a plan in place now so you can take great financial care of your mother or father later.
Add yourself to your parent’s bank account
If your parent remains in control of her or his mental faculties, discuss becoming a secondary bank account user. That way, if your mother or father becomes mentally incapacitated, you can step in to pay bills and tend to other financial matters with little muss or fuss. Another reason to add yourself as a secondary bank user is in case you ever need to close accounts for your parent.
Become a legal asset guardian
Talk to your parent about you acting as a legal asset guardian, known as a fiduciary. If the time ever comes when your loved one cannot manage money alone, the fiduciary steps into the role. If this sounds like something your mother or father may like, it is essential to act as soon as possible. A person must appoint a fiduciary while she or he remains mentally competent.
Talk to your siblings
If you have siblings, you should all meet with your parent to discuss why your mother or father wants you to serve as guardian. Money matters can bring out the worst in families, causing conflict and hurt feelings. Having an open discussion about why your parent made you her or his guardian may help your brothers and sisters understand why you have the right qualifications and disposition to fill the role.