Mom & Dad Shouldn't Be Writing Checks Anymore
Unfortunately, some of us have this exact thought, but it's very difficult to approach Mom or Dad about the subject. This concern arises for a variety of different reasons, and often times a child is simply trying to help or protect Mom or Dad.
In these situations, you want to be extremely cautious on how you proceed. If you are noticing problems arise, the best thing is to have a family discussion regarding the issue initially and ensure that all family members are involved--this helps alleviate the concerns of other family members about any one person taking control. This can also provide insight as to whether Mom or Dad will be agreeable to voluntary assistance--if they are not agreeable, sometimes the best decision is to simply remain vigilant, but to not take the step of intervening in their personal affairs. Remember, these are the adults that raised you and they've gotten this far in life without assistance and a few lapses in judgment may be just that.
If you prematurely interfere in someone's life, it could create a world of litigation that you had never considered. If your parent has sufficient capacity to execute estate planning documents, or to oppose your actions, they are very likely to do so if they view you as a thief. Even if their capacity is questionable, they can modify their estate planning documents to exclude you as a beneficiary and then you are fighting an uphill battle to either get back in their good graces, or to challenge their estate planning documents in expensive litigation after their death.
These situations are common, and unfortunately, people are often given advice to pursue litigation, interfere in a parent's life, or to initiate conservatorship proceedings, when it might not be the best solution for Mom, Dad, or anyone else involved.
Handling the affairs of another person is always a serious undertaking and one that should never be taken lightly. There are ways of handling such a situation that can alleviate or reduce the risk of a lot of the potential negative consequences. Sometimes, it may be worth the risk of pursuing a conservatorship, but there's a lot of factors to consider in making that determination.
So, if you are concerned that Mom or Dad shouldn't be writing checks anymore, then you should consult with an experienced attorney who can assist and advise you as to an appropriate course of action under the circumstances.
You may also be interested in:
- Estate Plan Essentials That Could Save You Tens of Thousands in Your Lifetime
- I'm Listed in a Power of Attorney—What Should I Do?
- I'm on My Parent's Bank Account—Are There Risks to This?
- My Parent Needs a Power of Attorney—Can I Have it Prepared for Their Signature?
- Why Should I Have an Estate Plan?
- What is a Power of Attorney?
- What is an Advance Health Care Directive? How is it different from a Living Will or a Power of Attorney for Health Care?
- The Cost of a Conservatorship Can Be Substantial
- What is a Conservatorship, and Do I Need One?