Sometimes, it is the realization it’s time to move aging parents into an assisted living center in Oklahoma City that opens a dialogue about parents’ finances. Other times, it is the awareness one or both parents have fallen victim to one of the many scams targeting senior citizens that begins the discussion. Unfortunately, there usually comes a point when senior citizens should no longer handle their own finances. While adult children usually reach this decision with their parents’ best interests in mind, it can be tough knowing how to proceed. Two of the most common approaches are pursuing power of attorney or guardianship over your parents’ finances.
Sometimes, seniors who are mentally competent realize they would be better served having a loved one make financial decisions on their behalf. Often, they simply prefer not to deal with the intricacies of finances and are happy to turn over that responsibility to an adult child. In this case, you can have your parent sign a power of attorney that legally authorizes you to manage his finances – to pay for affordable assisted living in Oklahoma City and other bills, for example. To avoid the perception or accusation of impropriety, allow your parent to pursue this document on his own by contacting an attorney and making arrangements if he’s able to. This way, if anyone ever challenges the financial decisions you make on his behalf, the power of attorney has the greatest chance of standing up to that challenge.
If you don’t believe your parent is competent to handle his finances and he refuses to sign a power of attorney or is unable to understand what you’re asking him to do, you’ll need state intervention. Typically, before you can make a case to serve as your parent’s guardian, doctors vetted by the state must declare your parent mentally incompetent. The process of having someone declared incompetent and being named guardian is expensive, time consuming and emotionally taxing. When you begin to question your parent’s capabilities to manage their money, you should immediately begin discussions about having them sign a power of attorney, even if it is safeguard for the future.
Forgetfulness is a natural part of aging. Sometimes seniors get into trouble because they simply forget to pay their bills. One simple solution is to help them enroll in automatic bill pay. Whether they have a mortgage payment, apartment rent payment or a monthly payment for one of the senior living communities serving Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, you can easily arrange to have the amount deducted automatically from their bank account. To keep your parents in the loop and give them peace of mind, you can arrange to continue receiving monthly statements marked “no payment due.”
If you are discussing finances with your aging parent because you’re researching senior living communities serving Oklahoma City and the surrounding areas, we encourage you to contact us at Village at Oakwood. Our bright and cheerful assisted living center in Oklahoma City is staffed with compassionate, caring individuals. Our team is standing by to offer you a tour or answer any questions you may have.