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For example, someone to come in to pay the bills, reconcile a checkbook, etc. What are they called? How much do they charge? Where do you find them? Are they licensed or something to ensure they are trustworthy?

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I would check with the bank where your elder's account is located. They may provide that service or else they could recommend someone licensed to do so. You are right to be cautious. There are too many ways someone could be taken advantage of without going through the right channels. I'm sure many financial planners offer this service, and some CPAs may. But checking with the bank seems like a good idea to me.
Carol
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In California I have designated a member of the Professional Fiduciaries Association of California (licensed and bonded) as my sucessor trustee for my trust as there are no family members nearby or any that I would trust handling my affairs if I were not able to do it myself or to handle matters if I were deceased.
Check with your state to see if they have professional fiduciaries association.
They handle financial matters for anyone not able to do it - from simple banking to special needs trusts to living trusts.
If one member is not able to handle your case at any time , another could be hired to take over. That way you are less reliant on just one person. At least they are licensed and bonded by state.
If bills are not complicated, all could be handled on-line by you from where ever you are. Just a litle time to set up. Be sure all legals - POA, Health care POA, trust, wills, etc. are in order, too.
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Dear Makes5: I actually do this type of service for elder family members and close elder friends. If you are the POA, and your relative is not able to sign checks, you can set up direct deposit for SS and retirement benefit checks, and an online bill-paying system for them. That way, you maintain control. There are volunteer organizations that provide these services as well. I would suggest you start by checking the senior service resources right in your elder relative's housing facility (if living in a senior facility), home town or county. I agree trustworthiness is critical. So far no one inquired has insurance of me because they know my character and my family well. However, I would inquire of the facility or volunteer organization if they carry any professional liability insurance for their people - you can't be too careful. Another thing is that if you are the elder's legal guardian or POA, the person you hire should be in direct contact with you via phone or email and should provide a detailed report to you on everything they do for your relative. There will always be questions or issues to resolve and they should be accountable to whichever family member is in charge. If you have pay a 'non-professional' for the service, it would probably be in the range of $15 to $25 per hour, but should not take more than 1 or 2 hours per month once a proper system is set up. CPA's or elder service/estate administration attorneys will charge much higher fees, but is worth looking into if only for advice, at least in the beginning. I hope this is helpful to you.
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HiMakes5,
There are people that do exactly what you need. They are called Professional or Public Guardians. You can go to your county office or websit to find a qualified licensed Guardian.
Good luck,
Advocate Home Care Team
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You don't need a Guardian, Public or Private, to review your bills, sign checks or pay online bills, or verify deposits. An accounting service will do this. Ask for Bookkeeping when you call. They are all over the Yellow Pages.
They have the personnel and the software to do this.....very trustworthy.
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In my trust I have my bank as the beneficiary to handle my affairs when I am gone as I do not have family or anyone I would want to handle this. Now, for the bill paying etc. I am doing this right now, on my own, of course, and you could probably do the same thing. It doesn't take long and I can take care of everything from wherever I am.

I have all deposits sent to my checking account. SS, etc. All my bills are paperless (online). Just so I can check I write the due dates in my planner just in case. Then I either buy or send all my purchases and bills to my credit card. Since I always pay the full amount there is never a service charge. Some of the bills I have automatically deducted from the checking account. That is the purpose of using my planner. I usually only have to pay online one or maybe two at at the most myself from the checking. I can always get all the information from whomever I am dealing with online and print the bills myself. Less clutter in the mailbox and nothing is ever lost. At one time I hated this online stuff and now I don't know what I would do without it. I don't spend at most a half-hour a month doing financials. And, my checkbook balances to the penny everyday and I don't go to the post office anymore or spend postage. Good Luck!
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Just wanted to add that all this is encrypted and it is safe to do. I have never had a problem. Might want to give a couple of bills a try and see how it works and if it works set up everything this way. You are also notified when the bills are due.
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In California the Professional Fiduciaries Assoc of Calironia can be found on the
State of Calironia web site as not only do they have to be licensed and bonded they must complete at least 40 college units (these are very specific classes)
before appling for a license and then they must complete continuing education
classes to keep their license. My husband is the public guardian in our county
and he must do this on a regular basis. Good Luck in your search.
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And yes, May I add what happens if and when the recipient's assets are used up? This is very frustrating when dealing in my case, I live with my Mom and must find a new job!!! I can pay some of the bills; she can sign a check and I fill out the rest, but how will I manage time with that and coordinating doctors' appts., her back brace therapy appts., etc.?? She does not even like the caregivers' help and wants me to do it all!! OUR assets are also limited. I am really scared and am not sure how to deal with problems without family support who live so far away!! We pray often, but God helps those who help themselves.

PatatHome01
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The American Association of Daily Money Managers are a group of Daily Money Managers who provide personal assistance to clients who have difficulty in managing their personal monetary affairs. The services meet a continuum of needs, from organizing and keeping track of financial and medical insurance papers, to assisting with check writing and maintaining bank accounts.
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