In our last post, we discussed 5 items to consider when working to prepare your Bridge of Life Financial Plan. In this post. We list a few things to discuss with your Financial Adviser and your Elder Law Attorney when you meet with them. If you are reading this and you are the Aging Senior, please take the initiative to schedule a Portfolio Review meeting with your Financial Adviser.
After all, it is your hard earned money. And you have every right to use it however you please and leave it to whoever you please at your death. One key is to make sure that your account(s) are structured the way you want it. And that you understand and are comfortable with the way they are structured. When you meet with your Financial Adviser and /or your Elder Law Attorney, you may want to take one of your adult kids (or other trusted friend) with you – 4 ears are better than 2!
Another key is to do this early – well in advance of your incapacity. Capacity is a slippery slope. When you lose capacity, it is much harder for your kids to act on your behalf unless they are an owner of the account or you have a very good financial power of attorney in place. Even then, the decisions that they would make are their decisions, not yours. To make sure the plan is what you want, be proactive and set the meeting yourself.
Things to Ask
Whether you are the Aging Senior or you are one of the adult kids. When you meet with the Financial Adviser, here are 3 things to ask:
- If you are at Journey Stop #1 and still have not taken action, schedule a meeting with your Financial Adviser. Then see if there is a way to streamline your assets. So that your money is easily accessible by one or more of your kids or your chosen agent. That can be used for your benefit if needed in the future. If you are at Journey Stop #1, you must act quickly to do this to ensure that this happens as you wish.
- If you have started to incur additional expense due to increased cost of care, ask the Financial Adviser whether your assets could be restructured so as to safely generate additional income to help pay for your increased cost of care; and
- Make sure the Financial Adviser and the Elder Law Attorney are on the same (planning) page. Your plan will be much better if these two professionals work together to craft a plan, as opposed to fighting each other.
Pillar #2 of the Bridge of Life Plan (Financial Planning) is often overlooked but is very important. If you are the Aging Senior, set a meeting with your Financial Adviser today. If you trust one of your kids enough to take them to the meeting with you. This may prove to be very beneficial. Someone will need to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated.
They key is to have some plan in place. That is to ensure that some person or entity can use your money for your benefit. In case you become incapacitated in the future. You may need to work with your Financial Advisor and Elder Law Attorney. In order for them to develop a plan that will work and it within your comfort area. More on the legal portion of the plan in Part 3. Stay tuned…
*if you have not done so already, download your free Journey Stop Checklist from our Home page on our website at www.helpmehelpmomma.com.