3 Financial Professionals Caregivers Need
When it comes to important life decisions, it’s always nice to bounce ideas off others. Financial planning for advanced care — for a loved one or yourself — is no different. Learn more about three financial professionals that you could use in retirement.
Financial Professionals Caregivers Need
You can rely on your significant other and various family members to help you with your financial planning, but doesn’t it make sense to have a team of experts on your side?
Here are three financial professionals you should consider working with to help guide you through the journey:
1. Financial Advisor
Caregivers often take over responsibility for their loved ones’ finances when illness strikes. Working with an advisor can support this effort. In addition to tending to the immediate financial needs of a loved one, an advisor can help you manage your own long-term care plan and help alleviate some financial concerns. If you or your loved one doesn’t have an advisor, consider finding one. But before you choose, there are a few things you should know.
First, advisors use several designations, so it’s wise to visit the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s professional designations webpage to decode the letters that follow financial professionals’ names.
Next, there are several ways to find a reliable advisor. Perhaps you have a trusted friend who works with an advisor they can refer. Another option is to visit the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. website, where you can search for a CFP professional by city, state or ZIP code.
Lastly, there are a few questions you should ask. U.S. News & World Report lists 10 that could help you find the right advisor for your unique needs, including:
- What is your background?
- How do you charge for services, and how much?
- What is your financial-planning approach?
2. Tax Professional
Financial needs, including tax strategies, change when a loved one suddenly needs advanced care. A tax professional, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), can help determine the best ways to minimize your family’s tax obligations when income needs change, and when passing on assets to heirs or favorite charities.
The Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation (ACAT), a nonprofit independent testing, accrediting and monitoring organization, offers several other reasons why people should consider working with a tax pro:
- It can save you money — a tax preparer who finds one significant deduction or tax credit can exceed the average $246 cost to have a professional prepare your return
- A professional can recommend ways to save on taxes and answer questions to help you make smart, tax-saving decisions
- A tax program in a box can’t represent you in an audit
The ACAT can help you find a tax professional that has passed a rigorous exam and demonstrated knowledge and a mastery of the principles, practices, and ethical standards of accounting and taxation.
3. Elder Law Attorney
Durable powers of attorney are among the most important documents a family can have when making advanced care decisions. Elder law attorneys are experts in helping families during this critical time.
It is imperative for families to make these arrangements and agreements as early as possible, especially in cases where a family member is living with dementia. As an individual’s dementia progresses, the person will lose legal capacity — or the ability to appreciate the consequences of their actions and to make rational decisions.
If a loved one loses legal capacity before executing a durable power of attorney, legal proceedings might be needed to appoint a guardian or conservator. This is why it is vital to have durable powers of attorney in place.
Elder law attorneys are also experts in wills, living wills, Medicaid, Medicare, insurance coverage, retirement benefits, and long-term care financing, among others.
You may find a local attorney on the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ website. Other helpful resources include the American Bar Association and the American Association of Trust, Estate and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA).
Having established relationships with these financial professionals will help protect your financial legacy, assure that your advanced care wishes are fulfilled, and help provide peace of mind for all members of your family.
What questions do you have for financial professionals when it comes to retirement? Share them with us in the comments below.
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