Two seniors smiling after their children answered the question, How do I protect my aging parents’ assets?As your parents age, are you noticing bills going unpaid, mail around their home going unopened, large or unusual withdrawals from accounts, reckless spending, unusual explanations for financial matters, or increased difficulty making simple calculations or transactions? These are often tell-tale signs of having trouble managing their finances, and getting help is paramount. Acting quickly is important to ensure they avoid falling victim to scams or turn over asset management to people with ulterior motives. Financial mismanagement and falling victim to scams or fraud compromise your parents’ current security, as well as your financial future by putting your inheritance at risk. In these situations, it is normal to ask, How do I protect my aging parents’ assets? And we are here to help. 

At Marcia L. Campbell CPA, we have helped countless seniors protect their assets to achieve greater security now and throughout retirement! In turn, we have helped their children obtain greater peace of mind and the opportunity to make the most of their parents’ golden years with them. 

How Do I Protect My Aging Parents’ Assets and Finances?

From assessing your parents’ current financial situation to bringing in a professional to oversee and manage their finances, there are several steps you can take to start protecting your aging parents’ assets and finances. Let’s get into where you should begin! 

Related Article: The Power of Financial Planning for Seniors in 2024

Assess Current Financial Health

First and foremost, you want to evaluate your parents’ financial standing. Assess their income sources, savings, assets, monthly expenses, debts, lines of credit, insurance coverage, and long-term goals. You need a holistic picture of their situation.

Are they ready to retire? What are their retirement goals? All of these factors are important to determine their financial health. Initiate an ongoing, respectful dialogue about their finances.

Related Article: How to Talk to Siblings About an Aging Parents’ Care & Finances

Put Protections in Place

You should also focus on putting protections in place that are more immediate. Organize and secure important documents and create or update estate planning documents. Then:

  • Implement regular monitoring to protect your parents from scams and fraud.
  • Educate your parents on scams and how to protect their personal information (e.g., create strong passwords; enable two-factor authentication). 
  • Sign your parents up for free credit reports.
  • Schedule regular account reviews with your parents’ banks or brokerages.
  • Set up direct deposits and automated payments.
  • Block scammers and opt out of mailing lists for your parents.

Related Article: How to Prepare for Taking Over Elderly Parents Finances

Plan for Costs

Then, you should plan for potential costs they will have to anticipate. This will require estimating healthcare costs, long-term care needs, and costs for leisure activities they want to do in retirement. Consider government assistance programs and long-term care insurance for your parents. 

Related Article: How Do I Talk to My Parents About Their Spending Habits?

Trusts, Power of Attorney, and Estate Planning

Key aspects of estate planning, such as ensuring that your parents have an up-to-date will, establishing trusts for asset protection, and securing financial power of attorney, are your greatest tools when figuring out the answer to, How do I protect my aging parents’ assets? When used with a fiduciary, these tools can be incredibly flexible and a great way to help manage your parents’ finances. 

With an estate planning attorney, you can set up a trust, transfer assets and funds into it, and appoint a professional trustee as the fiduciary to help budget, pay bills, oversee expenses, and protect assets. Or you could designate a private fiduciary as the financial power of attorney over a specific bank account to help in a similar fashion.

You can even use these aforementioned tools as temporary solutions if your parents want to travel the world for months at a time without worrying about paying bills and managing their financial affairs. Ultimately, you and your parents can tailor these instruments and documents to fit their needs and desires. 

Use a CPA and a Fiduciary

Protecting your parents’ finances and assets is a time- and labor-intensive process. If it sounds like a time-consuming undertaking, that’s because this kind of daily money management is a full-time job. 

You also need considerable financial expertise and experience to make the most of your parents’ financial situation. A CPA for seniors or a professional fiduciary will possess both in spades and simplify the entire process for you and your parents. 

This professional will be able to review your parents’ finances and help create a plan for their income to ensure their funds will last their lifetimes. With financial advice, investment strategies, tax-planning abilities, and more, they will maximize your parents’ financial resources so they continue to grow, and provide them with plenty of opportunities to make the most of their golden years while maintaining independence.

“Bringing in a professional also provides the added benefit of being an objective third party. In some situations, parents may have a hard time relinquishing control and an even harder time listening to their children. This can even hurt the relationship with them to some extent. After all, their roles are reversing. Those tense emotions won’t be present when dealing with a professional, or they will at least be significantly diminished.” 

– Marcia L. Campbell, CPA for Seniors & Professional Fiduciary

Do You Want to Protect an Aging Parent’s Assets and Finances? Schedule a Consultation Now! 

Now you know the answer to, How do I protect my aging parents’ assets? You can take several of these steps on your own, but safeguarding your parents’ financial well-being and the inheritance you stand to receive is of the utmost importance. Remember that reckless habits and negligence can put your inheritance in jeopardy, too. Clearly, protecting your senior parent’s assets and finances requires a full-time professional such as a CPA and private fiduciary!

Are you and your parents ready to live more and worry less? Visit our Contact Page to schedule a consultation today!

Elderly couple talking with a fiduciary after learning Two seniors smiling after their children answered the question, How do I protect my aging parents’ assets?

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