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10 Things You Should Know About Your Parent's Finances

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H20user - I'm sorry you are going through this, but I can relate. My stepfather has always been verbally abusive to mom and me, and now that I convinced him that he could be jailed for abusing mom, he has turned all his anger on me. He has physically attacked me 3 times and cornered me another time. I have both their POAs. Things are getting bad and he's trying to get me to leave. He is also rearranging all the furniture and ruining the beautiful job my mom did decorating their house. APS was of no help at all - stepfather and sister are both pathological liars. APS rep said stepfather and I need counseling and that will resolve everything. Hardly!! Not when stepfather won't be honest about anything. I may have to take mom and leave but I'm disabled and can't work, still waiting on disability decision so not sure where we would go. Extremely depressed and feel trapped.

I just recently had to take over the bill payment for my Dad. My Mom use to do all the budgeting/finances but has since passed. One day while visiting Dad I happened to have noticed current bills mixed in with the recycling, and saw on Dad's desk bills that were over due. Oops.

Oh my gosh, this has turned into a full-time job... going on-line and trying to change addresses so the bills come to me and not to Dad.... love the ones that ask for a "pin" number, have no clue what the number would be and Dad [94] wouldn't know.

And Dad has dozens of 3-ring binders with all sorts of financial information, and trying to match mix-matched papers has been a chore. Stocks go back to the 1960's.... [sigh]. And there are gaps, heavens knows where those papers are hiding !! I did find some missing Medicare paperwork in the binder for the car repairs.

Whew, just this past week I was finally able to consolidate all the checking and savings accounts into one bank, instead of having these accounts scattered in various banks. Wasn't until after the fact that I noticed that Dad's Social Security check and pension check went to an account that I had closed. Was able to get the Social Security check to the correct bank via on-line, but will need to call the pension group in person as the on-line site wasn't user friendly... hope I can speak with a human.

Then all the change of addresses as Dad recently moved into Independent Living, finally, he and Mom should have done that years ago... then they could have done all this paperwork :P

Stepdad has Med POA and I have Fin POA for my mother. He appears normal to most but is jealous of mother daughter relationship and would like me not to associate with her. Has stroke granddaughter with cane and attempted to hit me. I think my Mom needs to rewrite her will and Med POA.

These are great tips that can help adult children manage the finances of their aging loved ones. This is very important especially now that most seniors will need long term care. Its cost is devastating so it's important that you have an idea whether your parents have insurance products and other investments that can help cover their future long-term care needs. In addition to this list, I think adult children should know if their parents applied for reverse mortgage. Why? If your parents applied for reverse mortgage and died, the lender will take their home. This is a big problem if you'll inherit their home. It's important to know these things in order to avoid inconveniences and financial woes in the future. To those who are asking what is a reverse mortgage can refer to these helpful resources:


http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/sfh/hecm/rmtopten

http://www.revmortgage.org/education/what-is-a-reverse-mortgage/

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages

When I took over finances for Mom and her husband, they were so bad we had to file bankruptcy for both. As bad as that was, it was a blessing in some ways because it was the opportunity to stop all the bad spending habits. All the credit cards were shredded and accounts were closed. All they had left were their bank cards. I told them they could never be used online for any reason whatsoever and they believed me. I told them all charges of that type would need to be charged on my credit card and paid back to me. So that is how we have handled for the last 4 years. Step-father has started getting a little out of control again but I'm working on reigning him back in. I have POA for both. Mom has Frontotemporal dementia but he is becoming very forgetful. Both are 75. He still works part-time. I live with them and manage all finances, grocery shopping, etc.. He is typical man and resents not having control over everything so is very passive aggressive. Will buy things knowing I just bought them and let them go to waste. Anyway, bankruptcy was a humbling experience for both of them, at the time. Mom no longer remembers it even happened. Step-father takes advantage of memory loss. Recommend having ducks in a row as early as possible, including POA, will, advance directives, organ donation, burial vs. cremation decisions, etc. Can be the cause of many family problems - especially between siblings and / or when step-families are involved!! Good luck to all of us traveling through this journey ...

My mother doesn't have enough to go into a facility and has to much to get Medicaid. Can you charge her her rent to be Abe to get her Medicaid and then will she be able to get accepted into a facility?

My parents are 81- my Mom was just put into a memory care unit in mid to late stage alzheimers. My Dad has the finances to pay the expensive cost of assisted living for her. We think he just had a minor stroke, tests are currently being conducted and his memory is slipping- in the event of his death everything goes to Mom and she is mentally incapacitated. What does he need to put in place so that we can keep Mom in the AL center in the event he becomes incapacitated or worse passes away first. my brother and I are listed on the will as splitting everything after they pass away. I am afraid if he dies we wont be able to access his IRA, bank or sell the house to keep Mom in the facility.

When one healthy parent is the caregiver of the other who has dementia, what are the financial problems of assisted living costs vs. keeping the home environment and thus having capital left for the healthy spouse when the sick parent has to enter a nursing home?

What do you do when you have a durable power of attorney for a couple with Alzheimer's and no children and you need to corral their spending and cannot with the POA?

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It helps to have your financial ducks in a row so that when/if you need your spouse or adult child(ren) to take over the transition isn't a nightmare.