Managing Your Loved One’s Money: What Caretakers and Children Should Know

Many adults find themselves in a position where they need to manage the finances of their parents or other senior loved ones. When age, dementia, memory challenges, and poor health start to take a toll, caregivers might need to step in and take care of money management. What should all caretakers and adult children know about money management for seniors?

Explore a Joint Account

If you still trust your parent or loved one to handle financial tasks like using an ATM and writing checks, getting a joint account so that you can manage things when they are unable to do so is a great idea. Joint accounts can also be started in the early stages of degenerative disease or dementia so that you can gradually take over as needed and keep an eye on deposits and withdrawals to ensure they are not being financially taken advantage of.

Consider Designating a Fiduciary

Fiduciaries are designated people who can act on behalf of someone else in financial decisions. They can be a trusted friend, family member, or even a third party like a lawyer or financial professional. You can designate a fiduciary through power of attorney documents, by naming a trustee in a living will, or by hiring a professional fiduciary. This is different than merely asking someone to manage money, as fiduciaries have a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the person whose money they are managing.

Know the Signs of Financial Exploitation

Tragically, every year many seniors fall victim to financial exploitation. If you are a joint account holder or if you suspect that another guardian or caregiver is taking financial advantage of your loved one, it’s important to know the signs that something is not right. Some of the most common signs of elder financial exploitation include:

  • Missing property or money
  • Sudden changes in saving or spending habits
  • Overly detailed or strange explanations for financial activity, trips to the ATM, or missing items
  • Abrupt gift-giving or spending on lavish items
  • A guardian or other money manager talking over your loved one, intercepting calls on their behalf, or not supplying you with requested documentation or explanations

If you are concerned that your loved one is being taken advantage of, you should not wait to act. Contact adult protective services or law enforcement, as well as any lawyer that your loved one has. 

Protect Your Loved One with Senior Care Lifestyles

Senior Care Lifestyles specializes in connecting seniors with the right in-home care, assisted living, or senior living community to meet their needs. We have helped hundreds of clients and treat each senior as a valued member of our own family deserving our personalized attention, compassion and respect. For help, or questions please call us at 410-977-3718 or send a message through our website

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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