Caring for elderly parents' finances
While parents are still in good health
Marie McNabb, a Seattle CPA, therapist and counselor, advises families to get involved before their parents' health and mental state requires them to. Start making money something you can talk about comfortably. "To be a little more communicative as a family could lay a good groundwork," she says, "so when the health starts to decline, it's not so out of the blue to talk about these things."
Find out where important papers are kept and if wills and other documents are up to date. This is also a good time to make sure your parents have good tax and legal advisers, and that legal documents are in place. "What you hope for are parents who will plan ahead in terms of setting up a power of attorney and a living trust," Margolis says.