If you have elderly parents, you may have opportunities to help them remain independent. That can be tricky because many people don’t like the idea of giving up control of their money, even if they realize they no longer can handle their own affairs as they used to. Nevertheless, thorough planning needs to be done:
* Make a list of your parents’ sources of income and other assets that can be used to cover expenses. Get in touch with their accountant, broker, or other advisors.
* Set up a joint checking account for yourself and your parents. Request that copies of the statements be sent you. If necessary, obtain a power of attorney.
* Use a joint debit card, tied to that account, to pay for your parents’ groceries, medicine, clothes, etc.
* Verify credentials of anyone who assists your parents with their finances.
* Monitor account statements to guard against embezzlement.