It’s not uncommon for adult children to face a parent’s decline and the preparations associated with their passing. This includes how to handle their parent’s financial matters.
Seniors Matter’s recent article entitled “How do I handle my father’s financial matters now that he’s in hospice?” says that caring for a sick family member is a challenging and emotional time. Because of this major task, it is easy to put financial considerations on the back burner. Nonetheless, it is important to address a few key issues.
If a family member is terminally ill or admitted to hospice – and you are able to do so – it may be a good idea to start by helping to take inventory of your family member’s assets and liabilities. A clear idea of where their assets are and what they have is a great starting point to help you prepare and be in a better position to manage the estate.
An inventory may include any and all of the following:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Cars, boats and other vehicles
- Stocks and bonds
- Life insurance
- Retirement plans (such as a 401(k), a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA and a SEP IRA);
- Wages and other income
- Business interests
- Intellectual property; and
- Any debts, liabilities and judgments.
Next, find out what, if any, estate planning documents may be in place. This includes a will, powers of attorney, trusts, a healthcare directive and a living will. You will need to find copies.
This is hard to do while a loved on is dying, but it can make the aftermath easier and less stressful.