Several years ago I went through the process of moving my parents from their home in Florida to an assisted-living facility near my home in the Cleveland area. As many of you know, this is no easy task and includes a sale of real estate; evaluating various senior communities; locating bank accounts, insurance policies, investments, deeds, wills, and powers of attorney; hiring movers; changing mailing addresses; and changing healthcare providers and medical insurance policies. Where do you find the time to take care of all of this and still take care of yourself?
There are over 40 million family and friend caregivers in the country and many of them face these same challenges every day. 90 percent of these caregivers also provide financial assistance and oversight for their care recipient. They may provide services that include bill paying, preparing taxes, handling insurance, managing investments and monitoring accounts. Financial caregivers are often responsible for protecting accounts from financial fraud, un-authorized charges and monitoring for other suspicious activity.
But many caregivers struggle with access to information and authorization to manage accounts. Many lack the legal authority necessary to provide the critical functions necessary as a financial caregiver.
The solution to this problem is to create the necessary legal documents to provide caregivers with the authority to manage finances should the need arise. These documents include a durable power of attorney for financial affairs and healthcare powers necessary to have access to healthcare records and to make decisions concerning healthcare when the care recipient is unable.
These documents should be accessible along with other financial records and legal documents. Also necessary is a list of bank, investment, retirement, insurance, credit card and other loan accounts. Don’t forget to provide passwords to these accounts as well as full account numbers.
One solution to gathering this data is our Personal Financial Organizer. A secure, confidential online portal that organizes all of your financial accounts and also provides a vault for the safekeeping of all necessary documents. With one password, a caregiver can have access to all the information necessary to manage, control, organize and monitor a care recipient’s entire financial picture. Necessary legal documents are stored in the secure vault. The online organizer steps you through easy creation and linking of all of your accounts.
The Personal Financial Organizer is provided as a core service to every client of our firm. Give us a call if we can help you get organized.