By: Susan M. Graham, Certified Elder Law Attorney, Senior Edge Legal, Boise, Idaho
You are at the store and your charge card is denied. You pay your property taxes and the county says you owe for last year’s taxes too. You get sued for failing to pay a medical bill.
These lapses can quickly lead to bigger problems.
Why does this happen to people? Here are some reasons:
- You have been seriously Ill and unable to attend to business.
2. You have never needed to worry about paying bills or your finances because someone else did that for you. Now, that person is no longer able to help because he or she died, moved, left you, is too ill or demented. This leaves you to take care of business and you have no experience and no interest in learning how to do it.
3. You are getting more forgetful and losing track of your finances.
How can you protect yourself so you don’t miss paying bills and get into trouble?
Admit you need help and talk with a trusted family member or friend or your accountant or lawyer. Work with them to create a system for paying your bills and securing for finances. Some ways that may work are:
- arrange for automatic bill paying, so you don’t have to write a check each month.
- gather the mail and put it in a basket for you and your friend to go through weekly and pay the bills at that time.
- hire someone else to pay the bills.
This may not be a problem for you now. If you see yourself in these examples, ask for help and avoid getting into a financial mess.