Planning for the future is always tough when a family member is diagnosed with some type of dementia. But one theme that keeps coming up on our “Miles for Memories” segment on WBCK is that you need to start that planning sooner, rather than later. And that’s especially true when it comes to finances.

Jammi Konechy from Honor Credit Union says it is important to have honest and sometimes difficult conversations at the time of diagnosis to avoid possible obstacles as the disease progresses. This conversation should be based on understanding the needs and wishes of the person with the illness. This conversation can help to decrease the anxiety and fear that the illness can often create.

Jammi offers these tips to help with financial planning.

  • Setting up a Power of Attorney (POA) or a joint owner on all financial accounts to assist with anyone suffering from dementia. With the effects of dementia and declining ability to maintain their individual financial affairs, this is vital to have a go-to person for their account.
  • Create a checklist to assist with financial affairs such as where accounts are located and account numbers, what bills are set on auto-pay,  as well as passwords and user- names. Keep this information in a secured/locked location.
    Bank accounts
    Debit cards-PIN numbers
    Credit Cards
    Investments
    Broker name -contact information
    Home safe/storage device/secret hiding places
  • Use of ACH setup or Bill Pay to setup recurring payments.
    Having a safety deposit box or virtual strong box to store important documents.

Honor Credit Union has a virtual strong box available free of charge to members where you can upload important documents for safe keeping.

Honor Credit Union is Michigan Based with 24 Member Center locations across SW Michigan and the UP. They have been assisting members in our communities since 1934, and look forward to helping you develop a plan to achieve your personal financial success. Stop in to one of their Member Centers, or find them on the web at Honorcu.com or call 800.442.2800 .

Be sure and consult an attorney who practices in the area of Elder Law or Estate Planning. 

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