You should know the following basic information about your parents’ financial life:
A. What bank(s) and branch(es) do they use? What are their account and routing numbers?
B. Do they use online banking? If so, what information do you need for access?
C. What credit cards do they have? Is there online access?
D. If your parents have investments, do they have an advisor? If so, the advisor should have your name and information and you should have theirs. If not, what is the contact information for all their investments, should something happen to one of your parents?
E. Are payments for utilities and other monthly bills automatically withdrawn from a bank account? You will want to know this even for a short hospitalization so you can make sure, if they return home, that bills have been paid. I was lucky enough that my mother used my financial advisor, so he understood our relationship and her financial goals. He also had all the information on her long-term care insurance policy, which I hadn’t even thought of when I first called him to say my mother had had a stroke. Most of all, he was able to continue to advise me in light of what we were facing as her dementia worsened. It was helpful to have someone not emotionally involved