How to Help Elderly Relatives with Financial Planning

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Financial Planning

Navigating financial planning can be challenging but can be particularly difficult for elderly relatives. This is especially true when important decisions need to be made.

If your elderly relative is faced with aspects such as estate planning, it’s a good idea to get clued up so you can offer help and support.

We’ll explore the key factors to consider when assisting someone with their finances in later life.

Wills

It’s important for most people, not just older relatives, to have an up-to-date will in place should anything happen. Having a will means that an individual’s estate is allocated according to a person’s wishes, which may be different from the usual next of kin set out by law.

It’s a good idea to get professional help to write a will, especially if it’s likely to be complex. You can assist by suggesting a reputable legal company and explaining the process.

Financial options

If your relative is retired or coming up to retirement, it might be worth exploring their financial options with them. For example, there are various benefits they might be entitled to such as help paying bills, pension credit, or health benefits.

If your relative is over 55 and owns their own home, there are options such as equity release mortgages available, which can allow them to release funds that might be tied up.

Avoiding scams

Elderly relatives can be an easy target for digital scams, especially if they’re unaware of potential phishing messages. It’s crucial to educate them about cyber security and stress the importance of never sending money or handing out passwords to anyone.

It’s also a good idea to let them know what to do and who to contact if they find they are a victim of such a scam.

Budgeting

Creating a budget can be helpful at every stage of life. And with rising costs and potentially less income, your elderly relatives could benefit from a well-planned budget.

Assess their spending and find out if they could shop around to get cheaper energy, food, or insurance, for example. Take the time to go through their essential and non-essential spending and work out any leftover income they have available each month.

This can then be allocated to luxury spending and savings, to make sure there’s an emergency fund there should they need it.

As well as assisting with these key aspects, you should make sure all finance and legal documents are kept in a safe and secure location within their home and that you, or someone else, knows where to find them.

Identify legitimate resources that might be useful for them such as websites, helplines, or local community centers that offer support and information about finances, so they know where to turn if they have any issues.