the art of caring for your aging loved one


Banking Mysteries?

Let's assume you've found some puzzles while investigating Pop's chequing account.

Assuming you have power of attorney and that you have fulfilled your responsibilities as far as notifying institutions and individuals of your position, you will want to become acquainted with banking affairs.

Banks are helpful. With everything on the computer, one or two clicks and the clerk can see the account activity.

Ask for an appointment with the manager or assistant manager. Take in your power of attorney and The File.

"I worry that Pop will write inappropriate cheques for large amounts of money. What do you suggest?"

He or she will have some recommendations.

Flag that Account

The bank can put a "flag" on the account and you can set the ceiling. In other words, if Dad writes a cheque that exceeds your specified amount, say $1000, the bank will alert you before processing the cheque. You are in partial control of the account and can watch from a distance.

Dad can write cheques to pay his bills and send birthday treats to his grandchildren, but you've tightened the reins a little. You don't have to tell him what you've done.

Remember ... You heard the call and responded. Accomplish the goal with little white lies as necessary.

Do you and Dad hold the account together? You can ask to watch the activity in the account online. Some people have found this to be extremely worthwhile.

No guilt on your part.


Using the Telephone Tree, tell all family members what you have done and why.

"Lately Pop has written two cheques for over $500 to people or businesses I don't recognise. I had a meeting with the bank manager, asked for help, and he suggested a flag for the account."

Be specific in your explanation. You've given them the information. You've laid the decision at the banker's feet. Family feels included. You're cutting them off at the pass.

Document everything in the finances section of The File and make a note on the calendar. It's a record for you and for anyone who asks questions.

Protect Yourself

Protect your own skin while you are about these tasks! Money matters can cause nasty feelings amongst family members if not handled completely up front.