For many the idea of losing a spouse brings an immediate recognition of the impact of such a loss. Phrases like “Grandma and Grandpa were together for over 60 years” are commonly heard at funerals and wakes. “Whatever will she (or he) do without him (or her)” is also a commonly heard phrase. Sometimes, one even hears the whispered comment, “she really can’t even pay her own bills anymore.” But, rarely does one hear the question, “Who managed the books and does she (or he) have any experience with the internet, bill pay, or other modern modalities of managing family finances?”
The advent of the internet and e-finances has revolutionized the way that families deal with regular bill payments. But, especially among our seniors, it is not always the case that both members of a couple know how to interact with these systems. Often, they do not even know how to log on to an account to change that account back to paper statements, a modality that most seniors with capacity can understand and manage.
Not knowing a password or how to use a mouse may make someone “old fashioned” but it does not make them mentally incompetent. Families who are supporting a senior suffering the loss of a spouse should make time to explore the parameters of the internet experience of the survivor. Be patient, hitting a piece of glass with your finger is NOT an intuitive process for someone who has never done it and using a mouse is nearly as foreign to many. In some cases the best thing to do is just to evict the rodents and go back to paper. Comfort, and ease of management is not defined by the culture it is defined by the person.
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.