Dear Family Resource,
I have three siblings. Our dad died a few years ago and mom is in assisted living and supports herself with savings and money from the sale of their house. Two of my brothers have employment issues and asked mom for “an advance” on their inheritance. Mom is willing to help a little, but she doesn’t know how long she’ll live and how far her money will need to stretch. But she’s also uncomfortable having money in the bank while two of her children say they need help. She’s asked for my advice and I’m not sure what to say. I just don’t want her to be taken advantage of or to run out of money. Any suggestions?
~Passing the Buck

Dear Passing the Buck,
You are spot on! No one knows how long your mother may live and surely no one wants her to run out of money. You are in a difficult position to advise your mother about her finances. If your mom has an attorney, consider asking him/her for a referral to a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). A Geriatric Care Manager could also make such a referral. A CFP has passed a rigorous test administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and a CFP commits to continuing education on ethics and financial matters.

A CFP may charge hourly or on a commission basis. Most importantly, a CFP can help your mother organize and strategize her finances and answer her questions about saving, investing, and gifting, now and in the future. Once you have a lead on a CFP, do your due diligence to find the right professional to help your mother. Good luck getting started!
~ Family Resource

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