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How Can I Stop My Elderly Parent From Giving Away Money?

Your parents worked hard for many years to attain the funds they have now. Retirement means that they are no longer receiving a regular paycheck and are living solely from their retirement savings and social security. With limited money, they need to be aware of their finances to ensure that they maintain the wealth they have established. Unfortunately, sometimes parents knowingly or unknowingly give away money they should not. As an adult child, you will want to know how you can stop your elderly parent from giving away money.

Prevent Scams

Scams are more prevalent than ever and criminals put a lot of focus on older people. Recently, an elderly widow was bilked out of her life savings of more than $600,000. Scams are abundant and it’s important to protect your parents from getting involved. One of the best things you can do is to make an agreement with your parents that they will not spend or give out money until they discuss it with you first. This will give you the opportunity to investigate the situation. Inform your parents about scams and remind them that they should not believe potential scammers.

Protect Savings

Talk to your parents about placing their funds in a savings account that they cannot easily access. Do not link it to the checking or debit account. That way, the money they saved will remain intact. In addition, make sure that they add you to the account. If your name is on the account you will be able to have some control over it and can regularly ensure that the money is still intact.

Safeguard Their Home

The family home is likely the largest single asset that your parents own. Yet, there are some ways that your parents could be in danger of losing it. If the mortgage is not paid off, ensure that there is enough money every month to make the required payments. You also need to make certain that the taxes are paid and that the home remains in good repair. If your parents need funds, consider a reverse mortgage, but only after you review their finances. When considering a reverse mortgage, make sure the provider is legitimate.

Get Power of Attorney

As your parents age, they could be facing serious mental or physical illnesses that could make decision-making challenging. Your parents can give you power of attorney (POA). This means that you will have the legal authority to take care of all matters on behalf of your parents. Although it means more work for you, it is best to become more involved in their finances during this vulnerable time in their lives. A POA will grant you the ability to handle a variety of matters such as those dealing with property, finances, and investments, to name a few. A durable power of attorney puts someone in charge when a person becomes incapacitated.

As your parents age, it is helpful to become more involved in their financial affairs. When you want to establish power of attorney, we can help. Contact us today at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. at (608) 784-8310 or online to schedule a consultation.

Published November 13, 2023
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