By Mary J Hayslett, CPA
Edwards, Hayslett & Co, LLC
Parkville, MO


Asset protection takes on a different meaning when it comes to the elderly and disabled population. Sometimes an elderly or disabled loved one reaches a point in life where he or she is no longer able to make financial decisions in his or her best interests.  It may be that the spouse handling the financial affairs of the couple has passed away or become unable to continue. A patient with Alzheimer’s disease may become subject to fraud from unscrupulous persons. Adult children of the couple may not live close by to handle the routine daily affairs of their parent.    Perhaps the parent is not yet ready to relinquish their private financial affairs to their children.  Whatever, the case may be, this is the time to consider utilizing the services of a CPA offering elder care accounting services.

The establishment of a relationship with a CPA who can provide this assistance, should occur well ahead of the time described above.  The CPA preparing your parents tax return is the starting point.  If they do not offer the services for elder financial care, they will likely know someone who does.  This service, when done properly, will gather and pay all bills, visit weekly with your parent, monitor investments to see that CD’s are renewed timely, dividends earned and pension payments are collected and fund transfers such as that required from retirement funds will occur as needed.  Maximizing your benefits regarding social security and keeping your tax liabilities at a minimum is monitored by the CPA. Furthermore, they can become an important advisor saving you time and costs you might incur with an elder care attorney for the transfer of assets in anticipation of nursing home or other long term care concerns.  The cost of planning ahead with a good financial care plan is money well spent.

Choosing the right CPA is critical in your decision-making.  They can be your most trusted advisor, as their profession is held to the highest of ethical integrity.  Your parents have worked hard all their lives, saved and invested to have their money last a lifetime, while hoping to pass on as a legacy to their children and grandchildren the financial rewards of their work.  As their adult child, you owe it to them to work with professionals to be sure their assets are protected.