There may come a time in your life when you must start to make financial decisions for your elderly loved ones. Here are some things you need to know.
Hello, this is Darrell Castle. I’m an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Tennessee and on this video, I want to talk to you about making financial decisions for elderly parents or grandparents.
One of the things you might want to do is get a Power of Attorney for those people, with you as Power of Attorney and in that Power of Attorney, you want to make sure that you have the right to file for bankruptcy on their behalf if that’s necessary.
You need that clause here in this district in West Tennessee to make sure that you can file for bankruptcy because you won’t be able to file without it. And sometimes it might be necessary.
If they’re behind on their house payment, their car payment or if they have bills they just can’t pay, medical bills – very common to have excessive medical bills, especially at that age. So you might want to be able to protect them through bankruptcy if necessary.
Another thing you might want to do is make sure you have a living will. That tells you what their decision is for their long-term care, end-of-life care, things like that.
Those things like that are necessary if a person is in a position where he or she simply can’t make those decisions for themselves any longer but they have to be made in advance of that, while the person still has the mental and physical ability to do it, to convey those thoughts to you. So you’re going to have to sit down and have a conversation with that person about these things and what they want done.
Now another thing to consider is just simply looking at the person’s long-term finances – looking at what the person owes. Does he owe a lot of medical bills? A lot of credit card bills? Or bills that he simply can’t pay at this stage of his life? His retirement income and so forth are not enough to sustain him. So, you might have to file for bankruptcy.
And if you do, if this person is living on a retirement account – a pension, IRA, Keough, 401K, something like that, virtually all the time it’s completely exempt in bankruptcy so that’s not something you have to worry about. Just make sure that you have the person’s best interest at heart and you have the paperwork done.
If the person is completely unable to care for himself or herself at all so you have to take over total financial control of his life and control his money, you’ll need a conservatorship for that. But, that has to go through court and that is a story for another video.