If you are a caregiver or coordinating Care for a loved one, it is easy to get stressed regarding financial decisions. Money means different things to different people, and it’s a subject that many find hard to talk about. This makes it very challenging when making financial decisions for a loved one.
Often, I hear from adult children that one of their parents wants them to protect their money so that they have something to leave behind. Unfortunately, protecting their money sometimes means that they won’t have the necessary funds to provide for their own quality care. This can create a difficult situation that places a burden onto the children (or sometimes just one of the children) that is disproportionate in size compared to any potential financial inheritance. If able, have a conversation with your loved one about putting their needs first. In the situation where it’s too late to have the conversation, always err on the side of providing the best Care possible over attempting to shelter an inheritance.
The purpose of money
The purpose of money is to provide a person with the means to support themself and, when they have extra, to enhance wellbeing and life experiences. If you find yourself in a quandary regarding how to make the right decision regarding a loved one’s finances, remember that your primary goal is to provide the best possible support and wellbeing. This might require you to use your loved one’s money on services that they otherwise wouldn’t have engaged in, which is absolutely acceptable so long as you are helping them.
Do the best you can and ask for help if you need it
If you are overwhelmed with the issue of managing your loved one’s finances, ask for help. There are many professional services that do everything from day-to-day bill pay to managing investments. If you have the authority and responsibility of managing another’s finances, you also have the prerogative to seek professional assistance in fulfilling your duties.
The best thing that you can do for you or your loved one is to start a dialogue early and often, encouraging them to use their money and other resources to provide for their own wellbeing. This might conflict with their personal views about money, but it will help you to make it clear to them that if they want you to manage their financial affairs and/or to coordinate their caregiving, you are always going to error on the side of providing them with the best support and care possible over sheltering an inheritance.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one and feel overwhelmed by the financial aspects of helping or getting help, one of our Financial Planners or Wealth Managers might be able to help you. Your initial meeting is free of cost and confidential—Call 607-217-5091 to schedule.
S.E.E.D. Planning Group LLC (S.E.E.D.)is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) with the Securities Exchange Commission. S.E.E.D.’s team provides investment fiduciary and fee-only financial planning services to clients. Our fees are disclosed, easy to understand, and not predicated on product sales.
Travis Maus is the managing partner and a wealth manager at S.E.E.D. Planning Group, LLC. He earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst® (AIFA®) designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies®, the standards-setting body for Fi360. The AIFA designation signifies the ability to perform fiduciary assessments measuring how well investment fiduciaries are fulfilling their duties to a defined standard of Care. As a wealth manager, he is also a member of the firm’s Financial Planning team where he provides coordinated and strategic financial planning and investment services to families and small businesses.