As we approach each day and use the services of banks, insurance companies, utility companies, government agencies and a variety of service companies, we expect them to always “do things correctly” and occasionally find out that this is not always the case. Unfortunately, even the most astute individuals cannot catch these “oops moments” quickly enough to have them immediately corrected or at least to have their effect mitigated. Those who use the services offered by these organizations may also be the inadvertent cause of what may appear as an errant charge on a monthly invoice.
Insurance Payout Discrepancies
There are anecdotal examples of Executors discovering the payout of insurance policies are at amounts not as specified in the policies. For example, some seniors who worked for a single employer their entire career may have a term insurance rider appended to their pension. The insurance company pays the policy amount when the senior passes away, but the senior may have forgotten about such a policy and therefore not updated the named beneficiaries. If no beneficiaries are named or there are no surviving beneficiaries, the proceeds are payable to the senior’s estate.
Computer & Electronic Banking Challenges
Most seniors in their late seventies or beyond are generally not computer savvy. They may not even have used a computer during at least the last few years of their pre-retirement employment. While possibly having a computer at home, they may not take advantage of electronic banking and other such services. As well, perhaps they are not able to manage their financial affairs properly. So long as they do not have any bounced cheques, they feel comfortable. Their sense of financial well-being may simply be that they receive their pension, annuity, OAS, CPP and possibly other income each month while they pay their bills at the end of the month. Those seniors who have a financial advisor may not discuss their day-to-day financial activities with their advisor but simply ask that their investments provide a certain monthly income in addition to anything else they may have. These seniors have some vulnerability with respect to their day-to-day financial activities for such incidents as erroneous charges on their credit cards, interest payment charges on a missed or late charge card payment, inadvertent sign-up to a subscription, etc.
Forgetting To Review and Reconcile Accounts
Cognition changes vary with age and do not affect everyone in the same way. However, forgetting to regularly review, verify and reconcile accounts is prevalent among seniors and gets more challenging to keep up with as we age.
Hire A Professional
Consider hiring Financial Concierge™ for a thorough review of your financial documents and related accounts. We provide assurance to both our elderly clients and their families or other designates ensuring the seniors’ financial affairs are in order. Learn more about our document organization services here and inquire about our Family Playbook™. Most of all, we offer peace of mind knowing your finances are in order, bills are paid, and you are on track for meeting your budget.
Ideally, the situation encompasses the senior’s estate administration and includes the Personal Representative (previously Executor or Executrix) and Enduring Power of Attorney (often the same individual). This way, the person or people in these important roles can work with the senior (often their parent or parents) to ensure the account of financial and related affairs is kept current, which will greatly help them when they process the estate years down the road.