Caring for elderly parents' finances
Option of the last resort
You may have to go to court if you can't prevent a parent's overspending, and you have no option but to take control of their finances without their consent. The process is different in every state. Basically, with the help of an attorney you get a court appointment to take over your parent's finances as guardian.
Use the court system to take over your parent's finances only as a last resort. The legal fees can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and the process can cause anger. You might avoid having to go to court by using mediation or negotiation, or by just putting it off a little longer. Then, when the parent finally admits he or she needs help, you can step in and take the burden of managing finances off his or her shoulders -- without causing mistrust and ill will.