One of the many changes that occur as we age is that familiar tasks parsed out between spouses, handled comfortably by one or the other for years, are suddenly thrust on the other spouse. While sometimes this is the result of the demise of one spouse, very often it is the result of either senile dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Whatever the cause, the spouse left holding the bag is often not prepared to handle the task comfortably.
Bookkeeping, bill paying, and portfolio management are skills, just like cooking, cleaning, and laundry. Yet, many people present in our practice embarrassed that they do not have basic skills in doing these things and are really scared and confused. After all, not having money represents the potential loss of home, food, and independence.
The good news is that for most people an evening or two of working with someone who understands these basic tasks, together with follow up, review, and re-enforcement of the skills learned, can turn the fear and doubt into confidence and ease.
Although there are many situations in which voluntary (or even involuntary) turnover of these affairs to a trusted child or other is appropriate, it is not necessarily the case that inexperience is indicative of incapacity. It may simply be that the Spouse holding the bag has never had to look inside of one before. Family members, helping professionals, and friends should be ready to help teach as the first alternative.
This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.