Effectively managing your finances can be challenging at any age. From crunching numbers to remembering payment due dates or banking passwords, it only gets more difficult as you age. For many elders who have transitioned into a skilled nursing facility, there comes a time when it’s best to hand off financial management tasks to a trusted loved one. But what if you’re that person and the elder does not yet see the need for assistance? How do you approach that conversation?
Tips for Making the Money Management Transition
Ideally, your loved one will ask for help with their finances when it becomes too much of a burden. If they don’t, there are a number of things you can do to ease the transition, including:
- Talk with them before a crisis arises. Unfortunately, loved ones often have to take over an elder’s finances when the need becomes urgent for some reason and no preparation has been done. It’s much better to start having conversations months or years in advance of when the transition takes place.
- Get an expert’s opinion. Getting input from a financial planner who agrees that it would be helpful for you to get involved in your loved one’s financial matters and shares some insights on best practices can be reassuring to an elder.
- Talk with other family members if appropriate. A parent in a skilled nursing facility may find it easier to delegate their financial management to multiple children instead of just one, and there are many reasons why that can be a wise choice.
- Be open with siblings and other family members. If you are chosen as the financial manager, be sure to share information with other family members as appropriate. Being secretive about an elder’s finances when that is not necessary can lead to resentment and suspicion.
- Watch for changes in cognitive ability. If your loved one starts to make financial errors, it is important that you step in quickly. While you don’t want to offend them, the cost of delaying your intervention can be high.
- Establish a baseline. As soon as it is decided that you will get involved, do a thorough review of the person’s finances so you know where they stand today and how their money will be best used to support them going forward.
- Establish power of attorney. It’s important that you have the legal power to make financial decisions on behalf of your loved one.
Being There for them as a Financial Adviser
At Green House Homes, we understand that when a person in a skilled nursing facility begins to struggle with managing their money, it is hard on them and their loved ones. Fortunately, with a little advance planning and patience, financial transitions can take place smoothly. And, you can relieve the elder of that burden.