How to Know It’s Time to Start Helping Your Parents With Their Finances

  • Estate Planning
how to know it's time to start helping your parents with their finances | estate and probate legal group

It’s difficult to watch your parents grow older, especially as they need more help from you. Discussing finances might be hard because they may know they are losing their independence. But it’s important to have an honest discussion before they lose control of their money and before they decline in mental capacity. So, how do you know it’s time to start helping your parents with their finances?

How to Know It’s Time

The first step is to realize it’s time for you to help your parents. You may be busy with your job, family, work and your own finances to realize your parents are struggling. But there are some signs that you may need to start helping your parents with their finances:

  • They have memory issues
  • Their health is declining
  • They often complain about money
  • You notice unusual spending
  • The mail is beginning to pile up

These are some cues that it’s time to talk with your parents about their health and finances. The next step is to find the best way you can help your loved ones with their money.

Helping Your Parents with Their Finances

Having an open discussion may be difficult. Your parents have always taken care of you, and they may not want to accept that it’s your turn to take care of them. They may hide bills from you or not tell you the actual bank account balance. But once you understand what you are working with, you can decide together how to help them.

But there are steps that you should NOT take to help them financially.

  • Do not co-sign for a loan. This will make you financially responsible if something happens to them.
  • Do not add your name to their house. It is considered a gift from them to you, and they will have to pay a gift tax.
  • Do not become the grantor of their medical bills. This will leave you with a huge medical debt if something happens to them.

Understanding their estate plan will help with their future. At a minimum, an estate plan should include a will or trust, power of attorney and a health care directive. Now is the perfect time for them to name you as a power of attorney. An experienced estate planning attorney can help ensure they best utilize their funds for future planning.

Personal financial journalist, Cameron Huddleston, wrote a book called ‘Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk’ that may help.

Do You Need to Talk to An Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney?

Talk to the experienced elder law and estate planning attorneys at the Estate and Probate Legal Group. We can help your parents plan for and protect their future. Contact us today at 630-864-5835.

AREAS WE SERVE: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties