The time may come that a move to a community that can best meet the physical and medical needs of a loved one is in their best interest. When their strength, physical, or cognitive abilities are deteriorating, getting financial ducks in a row can be a challenge. Having a plan to get things organized can be invaluable.
Follow this checklist to ensure you're not missing anything:
1. Gather all statements and legal documents together in one place
2. Sort them into three piles: assets, liabilities, and legal
3. Assets are anything that is owned: home, investments, insurance policies, etc. Liabilities refer to anything that is owed: mortgage, loans, credit cards, medical bills, etc. Legal documents if drafted, are powers of attorneys, trust, will, deeds, or other documents prepared by an attorney.
4. If estate planning documents exist, confirm powers of attorney are still in force. If not, contact an attorney to draft new documents if your loved one has the capacity to sign.
5. Scour bank statements for all sources of current income (Social Security, pension, investments, or annuities).
6. Review statements for ongoing monthly expenses (insurance, mortgage, utilities, or credit cards).
7. If the home is owned and potentially will be sold, reach out to a Realtor® to get a comparative market analysis(CMA) to determine the approximate value of the home. If ready to sell, sign a listing agreement. Discuss with the Realtor® what modifications might significantly improve the potential sales price and consider if improvements may be beneficial.
8. Based on current income and expenses, build a preliminary monthly budget. Compare current expenses to proposed expenses after a contemplated move to a new community. If the new living expenses exceed the current income sources, determine what the funding gap is.
9. Schedule an appointment with a financial professional to review options to increase potential income from investments and determine a proper strategy to optimize the proceeds of a real estate sale.
Helping a loved one move onto the next chapter of their life is not an experience that most adult children have navigated. Working with a team that is experienced with similar transitions is a great way to ensure your ducks are all in a row.
For questions on managing the financial planning for a transition to senior living, visit www.S2Wealth.com/wealth-and-health-assessments to take the Living Transitions Assessment or contact Keith Piscitello, CFP® CRPC® at 773-867-3660 or keith.piscitello@LFG.com