If your elderly parents are beginning to show signs of mental deterioration, make certain that their financial documents are in order. This: (1) makes it easier to make lifetime gifts, for estate planning purposes and (2) provides for an easier transition when the estate goes through probate. As long as your parents have most of their cognitive abilities, they can trace their cost basis in their securities, which will help the family resolve tax issues in the future. In addition, consider consolidating your parents’ securities into one brokerage account. Some elderly people have stocks all over the place, in their own name and at several brokerage firms. Those securities should be rounded up and held at one brokerage firm, making it easier for the family to keep track. Then, if your parents want dividends and interest to be paid into a bank account, that can be arranged.