Without a doubt, downsizing elderly parents can be a stressful job for adult children. My team and I regularly work with individuals or siblings who are helping their parents edit down and move into a smaller living space.
When we help pack, we are always on the lookout for valuable items or documents, like wills, banking information, jewelry or even money. We regularly set these things aside for the family to action.
While seniors may not need anyone to take control of their finances yet, the process of downsizing is a perfect time for adult children to talk to their parents and organize important information for the future.
As is common nowadays, financial details are most likely scattered- banks, insurance companies and so on. I suggest taking this opportunity to create a document or file that includes the following information:
1. Professional Contacts
This includes their lawyer, accountant, financial advisor, insurance agent etc.
2. Financial Details
List bank accounts, investment accounts, credit card specifics etc.
3. Location of Important Documents
Find out where they keep their will, estate plan, policies, statements, insurance documents etc. Take this opportunity to ensure they are reviewed and up to date.
4. Whereabouts of Valuables
This includes a safety deposit box (and key!) in addition to any hidden valuables (check out our recent We Find the Secret Hiding Places post).
The Canadian population is aging and many more children will find themselves managing the health and wealth of their parents. In fact, by 2036, Statistics Canada estimates that more than 25% of our population will be over 65 (that’s 3x the number of the 65+population in 1960!).
It’s important when you’re downsizing elderly parents to prepare for the future. In the long run, it’s good for both you and them.
If you would like some more information on downsizing, be sure to read Downsizing Your Home in 5 Basic Steps. Or if you’d rather hire a professional, Out of Chaos is here to help. Simply contact us at email@example.com or 604.813.8189.