Helping Elderly Parents Organize Must-Have Financial Paperwork

by Paige Estigarribia
Helping Elderly Parents Organize Must-Have Paperwork photo

Having proper legal documents available can become critical if your parents or an elderly relative become incapacitated. We get expert advice on the types of legal documents they should have and how to best organize them.

If you are in charge of organizing your elderly parents’ paperwork, then you know it can sometimes be a challenge to keep it all neat and easy to find. To give us some additional tips on ways to organize these important papers and documents, we reached out to Kimberly Howard. Ms. Howard is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) with offices in Newton, MA and Denver, CO. She blogs at

Q: What is the must-have financial paperwork that you should make sure an elderly parent has?

Ms. Howard: They include Wills, Durable Power of Attorney, and Health Care Power of Attorney.

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Q: When is the best time to organize the paperwork?

Ms. Howard: Any time is a good time. The earlier the better because you never know when you might need them.

Q: What are some good organizational strategies for helping elderly parents keep the documents organized?

Ms. Howard: The main thing is to have all the papers together in a place where others can locate the documents if the need arises.

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Q: Are there certain ways to discuss organizing documents and information to a parent that work better than others?

Ms. Howard: Be concise and straight forward. Remember this is about their life and allow them to help make some of the decisions.

Q: What do most people forget to do when they are working to organize this important information?

Ms. Howard: It’s important to keep the documents in a place that others will be able to locate. Always let someone know where your papers are located.

Having proper legal documents available can become critical if your parents or an elderly relative become incapacitated. That’s why it’s important to prepare before an event occurs.

Reviewed October 2021

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