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Make Life Easier:  Paying the Bills For Your Elderly Loved One

separator Sometimes, people over 50 find themselves in the position of needing to take over the bill-paying for elderly parents who have become too fragile, physically or emotionally, to continue paying the bills themselves. Here are some recommendations for you if this chore is now yours:

  • Figure out exactly how much of your parent’s income is available for expenses. Sources can include Social Security, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and pensions. To do this, you may need to talk with your parent’s accountant, lawyer, financial planner, etc.
  • Set up a joint checking account. Make sure to ask that monthly statements go to both you and your relative. The bank may require that you have power of attorney to do this.
  • You may want to use a joint credit card or debit card to pay for your parent’s expenses—groceries, medications, etc.
  • If you decide to hire someone else to take over the bill-paying responsibility, be sure to verify their credentials. This individual will have access to your parent’s money, and you need to guard against embezzlement.

American Association of Retired Persons.
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