Sometimes I Feel Like a Piece of Bologna

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When You Need to Manage Finances offers five steps to managing your parents’ money. They make some great points, including:
  1. Create a single guide that summarizes all financial information.
  2. Get a broad Power of Attorney (POA) document.
  3. Close the loopholes by making sure that each financial institution will accept that POA.
  4. Get additional proxies for health care.
  5. Go slowly. If possible, don’t take over everything all at once.
I found that when I was trying to handle things for my mom after Dad died, each company had a different requirement. Sometimes it was downright comical. I’d explain that she doesn’t hear well, so I was handling the call for her. Inevitably, the party on the other side wanted to talk to her to get her permission to talk to me. She’d yell at them. They’d yell at her. I’d tell her, “Say yes.” She’d say yes. They were happy. She was confused. I could have had anyone on the other end of the line. How did they know if she was really my mom?

Little by little, we got things taken care of. I set up online access wherever I could, allowing me to manage things from home. Now I have access to her bank accounts and can transfer money from one account to another electronically. Much easier.

I was going through my binder in preparation for our trip to Mom’s tomorrow and realized that I need to get organized once again. I had things pretty well under control a year ago, but haven’t been needed much since then. It’s time to think financial again…

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1 comment(s):

Yes, it is sometimes difficult to stay on top of things when managing an elderly relative's financial affairs. One of the nuisance things I need to do is to go around to all of my mom's banks with my POA and get all the mailing addresses switched to mine. I'm having her mail forwarded to me, but the PO would prefer that the address be changed altogether. If one or two pieces of mail go astray, her bills may not all get paid or I will have trouble gathering info at tax time. Mom invested in CDs like it was a game, watching the newspaper for the highest rates--thus, she has CDs all over town in six different banks! As they come due, I suppose I should move them all to one institution.

By Blogger Sandy, at 5:35 AM  

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