3 Financial Professionals Caregivers Need
Last Updated: December 17, 2018
It’s always great to bounce ideas off others when it comes to important life decisions. Financial planning for senior care — for a parent, a senior loved one or yourself — is no different.
Learn more about three financial professionals that caregivers could use in retirement.
Financial Professionals That Caregivers Need
You can rely on your significant other, various family members and friends 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 your caregiving journey:
1. 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 a parent or senior loved one’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 conservator or guardian. This is why it is vital to have durable powers of attorney in place.
You may find a local attorney on the National Elder Law Foundation website. Other helpful resources include the American Bar Association and the American Association of Trust, Estate and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA).
2. Financial Advisor
Caregivers often take over responsibility for their parent’s or senior loved one’s finances when illness strikes and 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.
Before you choose, there are a few things you should know about financial advisors:
- 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 the city, state or ZIP code.
- Lastly, there are a few questions you should ask. U.S. News & World Report lists 10 that can help you find the right advisor for your unique needs, including:
- How do you charge for services and how much do you charge?
- What is your background?
- What is your financial-planning approach?
3. Tax Professional
Financial needs, including tax strategies, change when a parent or senior 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 accrediting, monitoring and testing organization, offers several other reasons why people should consider working with a tax pro:
- 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
- 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
The ACAT can help you find a tax professional that has passed a rigorous exam and demonstrated knowledge and a mastery of the practices, principles and ethical standards of accounting and taxation.
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? We’d like to hear your questions in the comments below.
We Can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.