As your loved one ages, they might experience changes that can impact their ability to care for themselves. When they have difficulty managing their finances, it could be time for you to step in. Understand how to recognize signs of a potential problem, which steps to take to offer help, and when it could be time to consider long-term solutions. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions from Allen Gabe Law, P.C.
Recognize the Signs
It can be challenging to figure out when your older relative is starting to lose control of their finances. Fortunately, there are things you can look for that could indicate a potential problem. Learn to identify these common signs that your loved one might be struggling:
- Unopened mail: Bills or letters from creditors piling up could be evidence of neglected financial obligations.
- Strange purchases: Frequent purchases of unusual or unnecessary items can indicate overspending.
- Memory issues: Forgetfulness can lead to late or missed payments and potential loss of services or assets.
- Physical problems: Difficulty writing out a check or addressing a letter can make paying bills an issue.
These signs could mean your family member has trouble managing their financial responsibilities. Identifying when they might have a problem is essential for developing solutions to address the issue.
Even when the signs are clear that your family member is struggling, they could resist your help. Life Beyond Numbers notes that there are several ways to offer support without compromising your loved one’s independence.
Try setting up auto-pay for essential, recurring bills, such as utilities, insurance, or mortgage payments, to ensure they don’t lose necessary services or default on valuable assets. You can also protect your relative by teaching them to recognize and avoid common scams.
For aging family members needing more assistance, consider obtaining a power of attorney, setting up a joint account, or taking over their financial tasks. Caring Village recommends documenting your actions and keeping a record of your loved one’s important documents and financial account numbers.
If your family member needs regular help, consider relocating. Moving into a house or apartment close to your loved one allows you to offer them the added time and attention they require as they age.
Consider Long-term Solutions
Your loved one could eventually need a long-term solution. Depending on the extent of the problem, it might be time to discuss assisted living options. This can be a challenging conversation, so approach the topic carefully and consider your loved one’s feelings. It’s a good idea to include them in the search for facilities, which can be done online; you’ll find nearly 80 skilled nursing facilities in the Chicago area.
If your aging relative is transitioning to senior living, they might need help selling their house or business. Using a home proceeds calculator to estimate the associated costs can give you a clear idea of how much you can earn from the sale.
When selling a business, ensure your loved one gets paid fairly by hiring a valuation service to discover the value of their company. Business valuation companies factor in inventory and assets to determine how much a business is worth.
There is nothing easy about watching a family member lose the ability to manage their finances. Recognizing the signs can make it easy to offer assistance, but prepare for possible resistance as money can be a sensitive subject. If you notice changes in your loved one’s behavior, it could be time to take action.
Allen Gabe Law, P.C. is dedicated to serving client’s legal needs by providing comprehensive legal counsel in the areas of family law, litigation, real estate law and corporate law. Connect with us today by calling (847) 241-5000, Ext 121!