What to Expect When Taking Over Your Elderly Parent’s Responsibilities


Helping mom or dad with finances brings plenty of emotions to the surface. They may not want to relinquish control to one of their children. Because no matter how old you are, you’re still their child! Alternatively, your parents could also just not want to relinquish their privacy to anybody, so you are going to have a difficult time taking over any of their financial responsibilities no matter who you are.

Meanwhile, you, as their child, may consider your parent mentally lacking to control their own finances. You may believe you are better prepared to handle your mom or dad’s affairs. You just want to take control and “fix it.” We get it. This situation happens to many families and can add stress to the lives of everybody involved.

Consider How Your Parents Are Feeling

During this process, your mom or dad may become short-tempered and may refuse to work with you. As CPAs specializing in seniors, we find that this is all normal behavior to expect from your parents. Do not take any of it personally. Your parent is upset with the situation, not necessarily with you. They feel helpless.

How To Deal With These Heightened Emotions

The key to taking over your parent’s responsibilities with all these heightened emotions is to listen (a lot!). If you let your parent express his/her opinions, you provide them more control over the situation, and you may even discover nuggets of important information you didn’t know before. For instance, say you’re thinking about hiring a caretaker for them. You believe you’ve found the right person, but your mom or dad keeps mentioning, “Debbie.” They probably want you to hire Debbie, so you should take a second look at her resume before moving forward with others.

Empower Your Parents

As the decisions become more important, it is imperative that you continue to make your parents feel like they are in charge. Don’t force your choice(s) on your parent. Instead, empower your parent by offering alternatives and simple solutions. For example, identify two banks. Let your mom or dad pick a favorite. Ask if they would like to sign checks. These decisions may not make a big difference to you, but for them, these steps may have a deeper meaning. Empower them, and they will become more confident in you to give you even more responsibilities.

How to Begin Taking Over Your Parents Responsibilities

One way to get legal control over your parents’ responsibilities is by becoming their Power of Attorney (POA). There are many different types of POA’s in California, so it is important that you review this information together with your parent to decide what is best for them. The related article below will provide you with the information you need to become your mother’s or father’s POA.

Related Article: How to Get a Power of Attorney for a Parent in California

If you find that you cannot come to an agreement, you could always hire a third party to work through any problems and help make decisions that are in your parent’s best interest.

Find out how Marcia L. Campbell CPAs can help by visiting our website.

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