Signs It’s Time To Manage Your Parents’ Finances

There comes a time in every person’s life when they realize they’re more capable of handling themselves than their parents. It’s a difficult time, to say the least. There’s something uniquely worrying, terrifying, and disturbing about seeing the parents you once looked up to lose their ability to function as adults. 

Money, of course, becomes a major issue–and not just because of medical bills. There’s a certain time when you end up being in charge of managing your parents’ finances. But when does that happen? Financial planners say these signs suggest it’s time:

  1. Your parents are in really bad fiscal shape. Maybe they weren’t good at spending. Maybe it was due to a financial tragedy or bad investments. Whatever the reason, your parents are having a hard time making ends meet. In many cases, this is when kids often have to start managing their family’s finances.
  2. Neighbors have called you with concern. Neighbors often see a lot more than sons and daughters who live away from their parents do. They might see troubling patterns or alarming mood swings. If they call you up, it’s time to step in. 
  3. You and others around you have noticed one or both your parents’ behavior changing. Were your parents always mellow, but recently became violent? Have people commented on your dad’s forgetfulness, or your mom’s erratic driving? These could be signs of dementia. If you notice these signs, you need to take control of your parents’ money immediately since they no longer may have the cognitive prowess to handle their wealth on their own. 
  4. There’s mail piling up in their mailbox. This is never a good sign, especially if your parents were notorious for keeping their home running in tip-top shape.
  5. Your parents are in a bad physical state. Physical and mental health go hand in hand. If your parents are at risk of hospice care or imminent death, you are going to have to be the one to take care of their finances in the final days. They may not have it in them to put their wealth together. 
  6. For the first time ever, they began to ask for money. It takes a lot of humble to ask a child for money. If your parents can no longer afford to live on their own, they will need your help sooner rather than later.
  7. Your parents are inviting strange people into your home. In many cases, these strange comings and goings could be cases of scammers looking to part your parents from their hard-earned retirement savings. If you’re getting a bad feeling about these individuals, taking over their financial planning is a must.
  8. Medical professionals have advised you to take over their finances. When doctors and other professionals tell you to step in, it’s in everyone’s best interest for you to listen. This isn’t a recommendation they take lightly.
  9. Creditors have been calling your parents nonstop. This is never a good sign, and should be a particular reason for alarm. In many cases, this is a sign that your parents are regularly forgetting to pay their bills!
  10. Though they don’t have the money to afford such things, their house is now filled to the brim with expensive purchases. This is a sign of a loss of impulse control, a symptom that’s regularly associated with both Alzheimer’s and dementia. Should you notice this issue, you need to react by taking things over.
  11. They recently turned 70. While some elders can be sharp as a tack during this time, the truth is that 70 marks a major life milestone. This is often a good age to talk about estate planning, finances, and other similar issues. 
  12. It’s becoming clear that managing their day-to-day has become difficult. Has your mom forgotten how to cook? Did your dad stop being able to remember where he lives when he’s out on a drive? If so, their financial situation is in peril. You need to step in to help them out. 
  13. Your parents hired someone to help them out around the house. Yes, that dog walker or nurse could have their best intentions in mind. However, there’s always that chance that the hired help might be more of a hired hurt. Hired help is one of the most common reasons behind elder abuse. If you have hired help for them, you also should be in charge of their finances. 
  14. They really struggle with new tech. We don’t need to tell you how many scams can be found on the internet. If they are showing a lot of struggle with the internet, or worse, with being able to tell truth from lies, it’s time to cut off their finances and manage it on your own.