As your parents age, you may find yourself accepting more responsibility for their care. Becoming your parents financial power of attorney can be a complicated, and tricky process if not handled correctly. A little bit of patience, tact, and love will get you a long way in dealing with your parents and their finances.
Make it official – The legal ramifications of taking over someone else’s finances are daunting. Be sure to get the proper forms dealt with as soon as possible. First, you will need a notarized Power of Attorney. When conducting business for your loved one, be sure to reflect your position by signing your name followed by the phrase “as agent for (your loved one’s name).”
Keep records – You will want to make sure your actions are above board and above reproach. Be sure to keep records of all actions you perform for your loved one so if any questions do arise you will have something to corroborate your story.
Keep things separate – Again, to help keep things above board and beyond any appearance of shady dealings, keep your finances and your parent’s finances separate. This will also keep things neater when it comes time for taxes.
Communicate often – Be sure to talk to you loved one often to be sure you are fulfilling their wishes with regards to their finances. If your loved one’s mental health is failing, be sure to get a detailed idea of what your loved one wants for their financial future.
Follow your parent’s wishes – While you are taking over the responsibilities of your parent’s finances, this is not a time for you to take over their finances. You are simply a steward of their money. If you have any issues with your parent’s financial direction, talk to them about it. Do not act on your own.