Thursday, March 14, 2013

Helping Elderly Parents to Manage Their Finances


When I went to the bank this morning, I saw a lady in her 50s trying to withdraw some money from her mother’s saving account. Unfortunately she could not withdraw the money because the signature on the form did not match the signatures on her ID card and bank book. Her mother was sick and she was unable to come to the bank herself. Her ability to write had deteriorated considerably so she could not sign legibly anymore. She also lost her ATM card, so there was no other way she could withdraw the money from the bank.

The teller was quite helpful in explaining what could be done in this situation.

  • If she had had an ATM card, it would have been easy because she could withdraw the money through ATM.
  • If she still could come to the bank, she could sign the form in front of the teller and they could use the photo ID to ensure that she was the person
  • If she could not come to the bank, then she could arrange to have a bank officer to come over to the house

I did not know what happened next, but there were lessons to be learned here.

We cannot avoid old age. It is important to be prepared before the time comes.

One option is to have a joint account with one of your children, so that he or she can help to manage the money if you are unable to do so.

  • Choose the right child to have joint account with. Not all of your children can be trusted with your money nor willing to help you.
  • The joint account should be solely used for your benefit, not to be mixed with your child’s money
  • There should be some regular reporting to other siblings to avoid negative accusations or disputes in the future

Do you have any experience in this matter? If you do, please share in the comments.

Learn and Grow!

Inge Santoso, B. Com, CFP®

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