Taking Care of Your Parent

Statistics show that due in part to the rising costs of healthcare as well as the desire to be cared by a loved one, most parents are cared for by a loved one. While the politicians debate about whether Medicaid and Medicare funds can and should be used to pay for care by loved ones, the care continues to happen. Usually, the care is provided out of love, but sometimes it is provided out of duty because there is no one else.

There are a few tools that the care provider will want to have in their tool box to carry out such care.

1. A complete list of all accounts, passwords, and PIN numbers.

2. A properly executed power of attorney.

3. A living trust.

4. A spread sheet accounting for all expenses that are documented with receipts.

These documents and information make it easier to help out the parent. Keep in mind that there may be certain risks with providing such care. A jealous sibling may claim that you are abusing your parent or taking advantage of them financially. If there is a change in your parent’s estate plan that favors you, you may find yourself subject to an investigation on a charge of elder abuse.

Take care of your parent, but make sure you protect yourself.

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