Caring for a loved one with a disability demands a lot, but one of the more easily overlooked aspects is handling their finances. Most caregivers find themselves thrust into the situation, leaving little time to deal with life’s obligations let alone take on the necessary responsibilities.
This article is here to create a clear-cut path for handling your loved one’s finances while you focus on dealing with their physical and mental health. These are the most common financial concerns and how you can easily assist with them.
Not every caregiver needs to take over their loved ones finances, but those that do require that individual’s assistance to make it happen. Depending on the disability, your loved one might have difficulty remembering passwords, accounts, or bills that need addressed.
You will need to pick a day and gather every shred of financial information pertaining to this individual, ensuring to gather everything from bank accounts to insurance policies and bills. Next, you need to determine which of these you can help them pay for and which you’ll need access to.
Your loved one having a disability is not enough to grant access to these files, even if you are the primary caregiver. To gain access when they cannot do it on their own requires the help of lawyer familiar with disability, like those at the Law Offices of Jeremy Pasternak. The only other way to take over these accounts is if your loved one specified that you do so in a living will.
Once you’ve gained access, the easiest way to help your loved one is to switch their Social Security Disability Insurance over to direct deposit. You should also do the same for any other sources of income they have. From there, ensure that each bill is on auto-withdrawal from that main account.
You can keep better track of everything by utilizing online banking tools. This keeps you and your loved one from having to head t the bank or write out any checks. Now that all of the bills will be paid on time each month, you can focus on more challenging aspects of their finances.
Investments and Brokerage
Stocks and bonds can be a little tricky, but the first step is to become aware they exist. From there, see if your loved one is capable of making buying or selling decisions. If they are, you may want to have them add you on as a joint account owner to carry out their wishes. If not, a skilled attorney is required.
Stocks and bonds, in most cases, can transfer names or name a beneficiary so long as they aren’t close to maturing. This isn’t true when they count as marital assets, though. If they’re left over from a deceased spouse or a recent divorce has taken place, you need to find an attorney familiar with dividing marital assets to handle the legalities around these accounts.
Finally, you need to go over each and every insurance policy your loved one owns. This is an excellent time to help them decide if each one is necessary, especially if their SSDI isn’t going to cover all of their bills. Make sure that all healthcare premiums remain intact, though. If you are unsure of what to do, speak with a local insurance agent about it.