Managing the finances of an elderly relative

Georgia residents who have elderly parents should discuss their parents' wishes with them regarding how they want to live and the critical care options they want to be carried out should they no longer be able to make decisions for themselves. It's important to have this conversation early on. Doing so could avoid the conflict and stress that could result when their parents are ailing and they aren't sure what course of action to take.

The first step adult children can take to plan for their parents' futures is to fill out an HIPAA authorization form and obtain a health care power of attorney. The HIPAA authorization will enable the person who fills it out to access his or her loved one's medical records. The power of attorney allows the appointee to make medical decisions for loved ones if they unable to do so. Children can protect their elderly parents' assets with a financial power of attorney as well.

Children should also assist their parents with automating as many transactions as possible such as setting up direct deposits and recurring payments for their mortgage, utilities and other basic expenses. They should find and store in one place their parents' important documents and information including bank accounts, retirement plans and insurance policies.

It can be uncomfortable for adult children to initiate difficult conversations with their elderly parents, which is why many people turn to attorneys who have experience with elder planning for assistance. Counsel can advise families about the different options that are available so they can adequately prepare for the challenges that may arise in the future.

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