A frequent challenge is how to help older family members with their finances without taking away their autonomy or getting into a tug-of-war over the issue. Concerns often arise when visiting loved ones and finding that bills have not been paid, papers are in disorder, or even that utilities have been cut off. It’s not unusual to find family members defrauded by predators or going on a shopping spree on the Home Shopping Network.

All relationships are different. Some older adults freely share financial information with their loved ones and readily let them participate in bill paying and investment decisions. Others hold onto control as if their lives depended upon it — and well it might, to the extent that they would lose their identity along with their checkbook. They may even suspect their loved ones of wanting to take their money.

There’s no single answer for every situation. The following, however, are approaches that have worked for our clients in the past:

Just as there is no single answer for every family situation, it may be necessary to try various interventions to determine which one(s) works best. And, if needed, we, at Dutton & Casey, are here to assist you and will be honored to do so.

Erin C. Vogt, LCSW, ACSW, CCM
Social Worker / Care Advocate
Dutton & Casey, P.C.


For more information and additional resources for older adults and their loved ones, please visit the website of elder law firm Dutton & Casey, P.C. at www.duttonelderlaw.com.

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The views and opinions expressed in these blogs do not necessarily represent those of CMSS or its affiliates

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