The most important power you can give someone is the power to act on your behalf when you no longer can.

  1. Power of attorney. Giving someone legal power over your affairs when the time comes
  2. A medical power of attorney to make medical decisions on your behalf.
  3. Financial power of attorney is someone who will oversee your financial affairs.

Only appoint someone you know and trust. Avoid appointing individuals who have substance abuse or gambling or other financial issues. Have a third-party overseer attached to your power of attorney document.

You will also want to specify in writing if the person who has the power of attorney is to be compensated and if so, how much.

Keep an eye out for anyone who uses their position of power to force compliance or coerce a senior into giving up personal, financial information.

What can you do to help ensure your aging loved one or an older adult in your family isn’t being taken advantage of? Make sure there is an open line of communication about money and bank accounts. Let your aging loved one know if they are uncomfortable about anyone, or anything, relating to their personal finances to speak up.

Senior Financial Tips brought by Marty Feldman Center for Financial Planning Wayne State Institute of Gerontology and Baldwin Society.

You can listen to previous Senior Financial Tips here.