In a previous blog article, I shared some important information about the concierge services that are available to clients from most of the major insurance companies. These services may provide invaluable assistance to older folks who are in need of guidance about the medical resources available to them in their local area.
The subject of assistance for senior people – and the families and friends who support them – is of paramount importance. In this regard, there are several new websites that are providing much-needed services to seniors to help them in this endeavor.
Here are four companies that specialize in offering seniors a variety of online services:
Another assessment gauges a person’s risk for financial fraud and exploitation, and offers recommendations for protecting against those threats. A “proactive aging plan” helps people prepare for transitions in living arrangements, health care decisions and the operation of motor vehicles, so their wishes can be known.
As convenient and useful as these sites are, we also have to recognize that not every person is comfortable with storing personal information online. Given recent data breaches from large companies like Equifax and Capital One, one can understand why some people might hesitate to utilize these kinds of sites.
My Dad is a good example of this. He is a relatively tech savvy person but he is reluctant to put so much personal information online. So instead, he has a sturdy home safe where he stores all of his important documents, such as investment and bank account numbers, insurance policies, a copy of his will, medical directives, a power of attorney, and even his preferences for disposing of his digital assets.
I know all of this because in the event that something should happen to Dad, I will have to travel to New York, open the safe, and use the information in those documents to fulfill his personal wishes and settle his affairs.
In addition to a home safe, one might also consider employing a bank safety deposit box or entrusting one’s important documents to a family member or friend for storage offsite. Or one might request their trusted adviser, such as an attorney, to store the documents at their professional offices for safekeeping.
There are several actions that are critical to executing this kind of plan. First, make sure that all relevant documents have been identified and collected. Second, make a decision about where those documents are to be stored (offsite or online). Finally, make sure that someone you trust has been designated and given the authority to access these documents on your behalf.
It’s so easy to put off this kind of undertaking, to say “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” But it is vital to get it done before it is needed. As I always tell the people around me, “Trying to manage this kind of situation in the heat of the moment is never the best or most opportune time.”
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