As people are living longer, an increasing number of children have to take an active role in managing their parents’ care. MetLife estimates that there are 10 million people over the age of 50 in the United States caring for an elderly parent. In addition to the physical care needs of their parents, many children are finding themselves in charge of their elderly parents’ finances. Unfortunately, the children sometimes get an unpleasant surprise when they go through mom and dad’s checkbook.
Today’s elderly population lived in a time when retirements were funded solely by Social Security and pension benefits and medical care was easily affordable. This caused many of our elderly to not properly plan for the financial needs of their retirement. In my experience, when elderly people find themselves short of funds, they tend to turn to credit cards and home equity loans. Oftentimes, this is done without consulting family. I have talked to many elderly clients who said they trusted their bank to steer them in the right direction, were embarrassed by their situation and didn’t want to burden their children with their monetary woes. Many of my elderly clients have gotten tens of thousands of dollars in debt and struggled financially for years without their children knowing there was anything the least bit amiss.
When the children find out about their parents’ debt problem, at first they are shocked and sometimes a bit offended that mom and dad didn’t feel comfortable enough to talk to them when the problem first began. It can be a very difficult situation. Eventually, the children start searching for answers to the problem. A phone call to Steidl & Steinberg is your best first step.
When you call the office, you will get to speak to one of our attorneys who will discuss your parents’ financial situation with you and schedule a time to meet for a free, in-person consultation. At the consultation, you and your parents can get advice as to how best to tackle the situation. Afterward, you can discuss the options and help mom and dad come to a decision as how best to solve their problem.
Caring for aging parents involves much more than rides to the doctor’s office and help around the house. It also involves making sure that your parents are in good financial health. Start the conversation and let your parents know that you are here for them and you want to help them overcome any obstacles that they may encounter, whether they be medical or financial. If your parents admit that they are already in financial trouble, give Steidl & Steinberg a call. We’ll help you sort through their options so that you can help them get back on the right track.