6 Money Tips for Family Caregivers
by: Keith Hughes, Vice Chairman and CEO
According to the Caregiver Action Network, more than 90 million Americans care for a loved one living with a disability, disease, or reduced financial capability as a result of aging. Financial caregivers, play an important role in ensuring that all finances ¾ from routine to complex ¾ are managed wisely, to help loved ones maintain the best quality of life possible.
In recognition of National Family Caregiver Month, The First is providing some tips to help individuals understand their role as financial caregivers:
- Learn the rights and restrictions that apply. Financial caregivers, such as those with a power of attorney, trustees, and federal benefits fiduciaries, have a duty to act and make decisions on a loved one’s behalf. Learn the legal responsibilities of assigned authority in order to better execute the role.
- Manage money and other assets wisely. Financial caregivers may be in charge of daily, unexpected and future expenses a loved one may incur. It is extremely important that caregivers minimize unnecessary costs and budget accordingly to ensure that all money is properly allocated, especially if the beneficiary has a fixed income or limited finances.
- Recognize danger signs. Seniors have become major targets for financial abuse and fraud. Make sure to stay alert to signs of scams or identity theft that may put a loved one’s assets in peril.
- Keep careful records. When acting as a financial agent, proper documentation is not only encouraged but required. Make sure to keep well-organized financial records, including up to date lists of assets and debts and a details of all financial transactions.
- Stay informed. Monitor changes in financial status of the beneficiary and take appropriate action, as needed. Also, be sure to stay current on changes in the laws affecting seniors.
- Seek professional advice. Consult a banker or other professional advisors if in doubt about what to do.
This article adapted from information provided by the American Bankers Association.