For many, managing your own finances is a tedious and unpleasant task. Few would like to manage their parent’s or other loved one’s finances in addition to their own. This can be especially challenging if the someone has been struggling to manage their finances for a few years and has left an unbalanced check book and unpaid bills for you to handle. Below are a few tips from a Next Avenue article titled “How to Manage Your Parents’ Finances When They Can’t”:
- Find the documents. In order to properly manage finances, you will need bank statements, investment statements, retirement accounts, insurance accounts, titles to house and car and records of medical expenses. It is recommended to make a spread sheet using all these records so you know what income is coming in and what the recurring expenses are.
- Look at where money has been going. Bank statements can help you to investigate if bills have been getting paid. Furthermore, looking at a bank statement can help you protect a parent’s assets if they are making frivolous purchases.
- Try to eliminate unnecessary expenses such as an extra credit card or a bill for internet or cell phone that they never use.
- Share the workload. Siblings or other family members can be a valuable resource if you begin to feel overwhelmed. If there are no willing or able family members, consider seeking outside help.
- Estate planning. Make sure your loved one has an updated will or trust and power of attorney for health care and financial decisions. Having these documents in place can prevent a lot of headache and unnecessary expenses in the future.