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Legal & Financial Affairs - Information for Caregivers

Managing the legal and financial affairs of an elder is one of the touchiest, most sensitive issues you may face as a caregiver. It’s also one of the most important.

For your loved one’s best interests, as well as your own, you’ll need to understand what financial resources he or she has available and how the money can be accessed if necessary. 

The best time to have a frank discussion about finances and legal issues is long before you need the information. Unfortunately, many people learn this too late.

If the person you’re providing care for is still in charge of his or her own finances, now’s the time to have a discussion and make plans for the future. (It’s also a good reminder to ensure that your own affairs are in order.)

Most older people are very guarded about discussing finances. Some may fear that you “are after their money.” You may be able to dispel Uncle Bob’s concerns by emphasizing that you want to ensure he is cared for according to his wishes.

Things to Ask

  • Are all your important legal and financial documents in a safe and secure place where at least one trusted person has access to them?

  • Do you have a legal will? Have you taken legal action to protect your assets if you die?

  • Have you legally appointed someone you trust to represent you regarding personal, financial and health care decisions if you can’t make these decisions yourself?

  • Do you keep records of bank accounts, loans, CD’s, stock certificates, etc., organized in one place? If so, does someone you trust know where that is?

  • Do you have a lawyer or financial adviser?

  • What types of insurance do you have and where do you keep your policies?

Gather Key Information

With the help of your elder, you can create a form to help identify and record important legal and financial matters. You should share this information with at least one other trusted family member, or at least ensure that he or she knows where to find it.

Email a St. Andrew's Care Manager for more information or to schedule a telephone consultation.  If you're still unsure of what you need, or believe you would benefit from a senior care assessment call (314) 726-5766.