Money Management

A Client Story – Document Organization & Estate Administration

A Client Story – Document Organization & Estate Administration

A Client Story

John and Mary were married 65 years. They had three children. Mary looked after the paperwork and bill payments all through their married lives. Mary became ill and was in hospital for approximately three months before passing away. John was exhausted from the experience and thankful he had children who offered to help him with funeral arrangements. He had an idea of what Mary wanted and she had written down instructions….somewhere. Having downsized to move into a retirement village, so many papers had been chucked.

John needed help with getting their files, paperwork and bill payment information together in one place. He also needed assistance in finalizing Mary’s estate as Executor. He received assistance from a consultant with Financial Concierge Inc. in completing the Family Playbook™ and now has all of his important documentation and information in one place. The Financial Concierge™ also came alongside John to complete the administration of Mary’s estate and assisted him with arranging to have some of his bill payments done by automatic payment so he would not have to remember to pay these bills monthly or make the mistake of paying the same bill multiple times.

John now feels more confident about his financial independence and being able to age in place.

Contact us. We can help!

Please call us to chat if you have concerns about client, family member or friend. We are always glad to grab a quick coffee with you. 1 888 483 2176

Posted by Jill Chambers in Estate Administration, Money Management, Newsletter
A Client Story – Retired Businessman Hires Financial Concierge

A Client Story – Retired Businessman Hires Financial Concierge

A Client Story

John, a lifelong businessman, exclusively handled the family finances. Dealing with congestive heart failure, shortness of breath, signs of dementia, chronic pain and depression, the formerly astute businessman, was simply not feeling well and neglecting his personal or business affairs.

His long-time lawyer, accountant and business partners had been noticing for a while that he wasn’t on top of things like he always was. Their gentle reminders to him were acknowledged but not executed.He and his wife had their Power of Attorney drafted as instructed but a year later, when needing to activate Power of Attorney, it was still in draft form, not signed.

Missed payments, overpayment of credit cards and phone bills, stale-dated dividend cheques, partnerships and long-time company needing to be wrapped up.

Knowing his wife had never been involved in the family finances, John asked for help from Financial Concierge.

We got involved and:

    • organized all paperwork and important documents into a Family Playbook™
    • went through piles of mail to troubleshoot issues
    • filed bills and documents into his existing filing system
    • had stale dated cheques re-issued & set up direct deposit of future dividend payments
    • called credit card company and had the large overpayment sent to their bank account
    • consolidated gas and electricity bill saving fees and confusion
    • cancelled an air filter program he was being billed for but no longer using
    • set up online accounts for cell phones, utilities, banking
  • provided information to his accountant to proceed with winding up John’s company
  • collected & organized all personal tax receipts & delivered to his accountant for tax preparation
  • contacted a driving service to take him to medical appointments in the city

This type of situation is not uncommon. As you get older and have to deal with health issues, it’s a smart move to bring in assistance and let someone else handle it for once.

Jill Chambers, the President of Financial Concierge, says, “We are dedicated to providing assistance to and supporting our seniors in Canada. We see a growing gap in society as the ‘sandwiched’ generation struggles with taking care of their children, paying their own bills, and looking after their aging parents. We step in to fill those gaps and take care of the organization and administration of day-to-day issues so you and your family can concentrate on enjoying your time together.”

If you think you could use the help of Financial Concierge, book a consultation with us today!

Posted by Jill Chambers in Money Management, Newsletter
A Client Story – Elderly Man with Mobility Issues

A Client Story – Elderly Man with Mobility Issues

A Client Story

“Henry” is fortunate to have 4 adult children in his life. His wife pre-deceased him 2 years ago. One daughter lives out of province. In order to be equitable, Henry has listed Mary and Terry as joint Agents for his Personal Directive; Terry and Perry a joint Powers of Attorney; and Perry and Mary as joint Executors. Sounds good? Not really. None of the four siblings get along particularly well each having a variety of challenges in their personal lives from physical, to emotional, to financial. As a result, nothing is attended to in a timely manner.

Henry lives on his own with 24 hour in-home care related to mobility challenges. Assistance is required in organizing all aspects of his life from healthcare to personal care to finances.

We have stepped in to assist with everything so that the family can focus on their own challenges and just enjoy spending social time with Henry.

“Financial Concierge has been a god send for us! We were drowning and chasing our tails before you stepped in to help!”

Do you need help with your finances or other day-to-day challenges? Book a Consultation with us to see if we would be a good fit!

Posted by Jill Chambers in Money Management, Newsletter, Seniors Health and Wellness
3 Minutes with Jill Chambers

3 Minutes with Jill Chambers

Article by Deanne Gage and originally posted here in FORUM Magazine (Feb 2020 Edition)

Jill Chambers Calgary Prime Times Picture

Jill Chambers, president of Financial Concierge

FORUM: What’s a financial concierge?
Jill: We pay bills for people who can’t, don’t, or shouldn’t. An example would be a senior who has developed arthritis and is having great difficulty writing and paying bills, and isn’t tech savvy. So we thought if we can help seniors stay independent financially, then they can also stay in their own homes longer with the supports and services around them.

FORUM: How are you paid?
Jill: We charge $150 an hour.We may spend two or three hours to find out what all the bills are, what we can automate, how to figure out what we need to do, and get it set up. After that, maybe it’s an hour in a month to visit with the individual and review what’s happened during the past month. Sometimes, family members of a senior — particularly if they live far away — quite like the fact that there’s a second set of eyes on everything. A really surprising thing that has come up is that the majority of the individuals we work with have been financially abused in the past.

FORUM: How do people know they can trust you?
Jill: We do complete background checks of our concierges, including a vulnerable sector screening. We look for good-to-excellent credit scores, and they must abide by the American Association of Daily Money Managers code of ethics. The first time we meet with clients, I ask them to have a friend or a family member or someone else there for the interview. If they don’t, I’ll ask them, “Have you talked to your sister or your child? Do they know that we’re working together?” Because I really encourage that and I would like them to be part of the conversation. If I’m doing an actual ongoing bill payment, then I always try to find someone else that I can provide a report to on a monthly basis. We always have a trusted contact person on file. When you’re dealing with older populations, cognitive changes are going to occur. So the way I frame this fact is: “If for some reason I can’t get a hold of you, or I have concerns about your well-being, whom can I talk to?”

FORUM: Why is this work important?
Jill: We did focus groups with caregivers who work with seniors and one need that came up was assistance with bill payments and someone to help them to get their important documents organized. This was particularly important when somebody had been widowed suddenly or lost a partner to one of the three Ds: death, dementia, or divorce. Most couples — it doesn’t matter what generation — are quite role specific in that one person manages the finances; everything from the investing to the insurance to the bill payments. And the other person is responsible for other areas of their lives. When the person who has been doing the financial management is gone, the surviving spouse doesn’t know where to start. And there often isn’t a family member or someone else around to do it.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Money Management, 0 comments
Helping Aging Parents with Finances

Helping Aging Parents with Finances

5 Ways to Reduce Resistance

Managing financial matters is an important part of caring for an older adult.

But it can be tough to convince someone that they need help, even if all the signs are there.

For example, if they’re forgetting to pay bills, making unwise purchases, or getting confused about their accounts, it’s probably time to step in.

But even if they’re having problems, many people are still resistant to having someone get involved in their finances.

To reduce defensiveness, we share 5 essential tips for helping aging parents with finances.

We also suggest specific tasks to focus on to make the new responsibility a little less overwhelming.

  1. Work with them and respect their decisions

If your older adult is still able to manage their finances fairly well, be respectful of their decisions and work with them instead of taking over.

They’ll (hopefully) appreciate your help in executing details like paying the bills every month. And typically, they’ll be more likely to accept additional help when they realize you’re not trying to take away their control.

If your older adult has dementia or a cognitive impairment, you may need to take over and make decisions on their behalf.

But it’s still kinder to make them feel included and in control, even if they can’t manage things on their own anymore.

Work with other family members to make sure everyone is on the same page and they understand that you’re looking out for your older adult’s best interests.

  1. Locate important documents

It’s critical to know where the important financial documents are so you can locate them in an emergency or if your older adult becomes incapacitated.

This allows you to protect your older adult’s assets when they’re not able to take care of things themselves.

Your older adult may be concerned that you’ll use these documents before you have to, so be sure to reassure them that you’ll only use the information in an emergency or when they’re not able to.

Important documents typically include: 

  • Bank and investment statements
  • Wills
  • Insurance policies
  • Pension records
  • Home mortgage or reverse mortgage
  • Car title
  • CPP and OAS payments
  • Safe deposit boxes
  1. Get access to financial accounts

Getting access to your older adult’s bank accounts requires advance planning and likely, some specific paperwork.

Banks and other financial institutions have strict rules about who can access accounts. And sometimes, they require their own documents to be completed even if you already have a Power of Attorney.

To write cheques or withdraw money from your older adult’s accounts, you could become authorized to conduct transactions.

To get access to a safe deposit box, your older adult can authorize a “deputy” or “agent.”

Important: Before signing paperwork or getting joint access to any accounts, consulting with a fiduciary, elder law attorney, financial planner, or other qualified professional is always recommended to avoid unintended consequences.

  1. Keep family informed

Your older adult should stay involved in their financial decisions as long as they can.

But if that’s not possible and you need to take full responsibility, it’s wise to share information with other family members or involve them in the process.

This helps avoid conflicts later, like one person accusing another of inappropriately spending the older adult’s money behind the family’s back.

Holding family meetings to discuss finances is also a good way to keep everyone up to date on spending and income.

It’s also smart to keep a record of significant discussions, decisions, and actions in case there are disputes in the future.

  1. Prepare for the future

If your older adult doesn’t already have a will or estate plan, now is the time to convince them to meet with a lawyer and start the process.

These key legal documents are important because they affect how their assets are distributed when they pass away.

It’s also important to complete other essential legal documents like a Power of Attorney and living will. This allows you to make decisions and take action quickly during a health crisis.  The “living will” has different names depending on the province – Power of Attorney for Health Decisions, personal directive, or healthcare directive.

Need help with your own or your elderly family members financial matters? 

Get in touch with Financial Concierge Inc today to book your complimentary initial consultation.

Posted by Admin-FCI in Money Management