In total, according to research from AARP Public Policy Institute, nearly 7 million — or about 17% — of family caregivers in the U.S. are Hispanic-Latino.1
Everyone wants to be able to afford taking care of their parents. In the latino community especially, it’s pretty much a cultural value ingrained in our heritage. As our parents age we are often faced with unforeseen new responsibilities, particularly when it comes to their financial well-being, and if you add this to our current responsibilities, it becomes overwhelming. One crucial step in this caregiving journey is establishing a Power of Attorney (POA).
What does “planning” necessarily mean? This often includes making pivotal decisions about health care, living arrangements, and financial management for our elderly parents.
In these moments, a POA becomes an essential tool, allowing us to legally act in their best interest, especially in times of unexpected health crises.
Understanding Power of Attorney
A POA is a legal document granting authority to make decisions on behalf of your parents if they’re unable to do so themselves. This can include managing bank accounts, overseeing investments, or handling property matters. It’s all about managing your family’s needs and your parents’ desires.
Latinos spend $7,167 a year caring for aging loved ones, says an AARP survey.2
Cost-Effective Management of Finances:
- Avoiding Legal Expenses: Without a POA, families might face legal costs and court proceedings to gain authority to manage their parents’ affairs.
- Streamlining Financial Decisions: A financial POA facilitates the management of bank accounts, investments, and bill payments, avoiding late fees and financial penalties.
- Efficient Healthcare Management: A medical POA allows for timely and cost-effective healthcare decisions, avoiding unnecessary expenses due to delayed treatments.
Initiating the conversation
Discussing financial matters can be an uncomfortable issue, but it’s a necessary conversation in Latino families. Approach it with respect, highlighting the importance of being prepared so their wishes are followed and their legacy is protected.
Drafting the POA
Work with a legal professional to ensure the POA respects your parents’ wishes and follows state laws. It’s not just about legal compliance but about keeping up the trust and respect that upholds our family values.
The Legal Steps
Once a POA is drafted, ensure it’s legally recognized by having it notarized. Store it securely and inform key family members of its location and the responsibilities it entails.
Remember, a POA does not replace a will or estate planning; it’s part of a broader plan to care for our parents. Estate planning is also crucial and should be discussed with your parents and an attorney.
Be proud- you’re thinking ahead. Stepping into the role of a financial caretaker with a POA is a significant act of love. It allows us to protect our parents’ dignity even when “life” happens but also helps protect us from being reactionary when a situation arises.
Having a POA helps a smoother transition to take care of decisions for your parents and relieves you of some decision making stress so you can focus on spending time and creating memorable experiences with your family.
- Rothkegel, I. (n.d.). “Helping elderly parents within the Hispanic community.” Merrill Lynch. Retrieved from https://www.ml.com/articles/aging-parents-hispanic-community.html ↩︎
- Sukumaran, P. (2021, July 9). “Latinos spend $7,167 a year caring for Aging loved ones.” Salud America. Retrieved from https://salud-america.org/latinos-spend-over-7000-a-year-helping-aging-loved-ones/ ↩︎
Disclaimer: Legal services are not offered by Money Mindset Wealth Management, LPL Financial or affiliated advisors. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified legal advisor.
* The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision. Investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.