If you have an aging loved one, you’re probably concerned about their wellbeing. With advanced age often comes a decline in physical health and cognitive function. You may worry that your parent could get hurt in their home or that they might need assistance with things like personal care.
In addition to these concerns, it’s also important to think about securing your loved one’s assets. The elderly population is prone to targeting by scammers and others who want to take advantage of their vulnerable nature. In addition, accumulating costs of future long-term care can wipe out the savings your parent has a lifetime building. To minimize these risks, follow these tips to protect your elder’s assets.
Help Them Manage Their Finances
One of the most proactive and hands-on ways to ensure your loved ones don’t lose money is to help manage your elderly parent’s finances. This will require having a sensitive conversation with them to provide reassurance that you are acting in their best interest. Protecting your elder’s assets will involve many such talks, so it’s good to get the ball rolling with a frank discussion about money. You might just offer to review their accounting regularly rather than taking over their bill-paying completely. They may be more amenable to this suggestion. You can always monitor the situation and reassess it as you go along.
Talk to Them About Scams
Older adults are a vulnerable population when it comes to scams. Some people are quite adept at targeting the elderly. These crooks can be quite convincing when contacting your loved one. If they are successful in their fraud, they could get away with a substantial amount of money, leaving the victim with little recourse. A bit of education on the topic can go a long way toward safeguarding the ones you love. Talk to them about the various types of scams out there.
Medical scams are quite common. These often involve convincing an individual to provide personal insurance information over the phone; the scammer then uses that information to bill Medicare for services and walks away with the money. Other types of phone scams are rampant, too. Advise your loved one to be wary of giving money by phone to anyone claiming to be from a charity or to individuals who could be posing as a relative in trouble. Online scams are another potential threat. Perpetrators often convince older adults to download programs that provide scammers with direct access to their computers. Remind them you’re happy to help them if they’re ever in doubt.
Set Up a Power of Attorney
Powers of attorney are legal contracts that allow for someone other than your elderly loved one to make decisions regarding such things as their property, finances, and health. With a power of attorney for property and finance, you or another designee would have the ability to write, deposit, and cash checks on behalf of your elder. You could easily step in to manage their financial obligations in the event they are unable or choose not to. Such an agreement could also allow the agent to manage property or investments.
When it comes to your parent’s health, a power of attorney can be incredibly beneficial. This document establishes your loved one’s wishes regarding their health and medical care while they are in the state of mind to coherently express them. It can eliminate guilt and uncertainty if you need to choose on their behalf. It can also eliminate disagreements between relatives of differing opinions. One person is the designated agent, chosen by your loved one. This person acts accordingly. Your elder has the final say in these documents and can include whatever stipulations they desire.
Seek Professional Assistance
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of this information, that’s understandable. Your best bet is to seek the assistance of trusted professionals in the areas of financial planning, insurance, and healthcare, as well as an estate planning law firm in Los Angeles. These experts can walk you through the necessary steps and provide the information you and your loved one need to make the best decisions possible.
Hopefully, these suggestions have provided the guidance you need to feel more confident when it comes to protecting your elder’s assets. Taking the time to get the ball rolling now can save you a great deal of frustration later.