Growing up, most of us watched our parents purchase houses and land, cars and trucks, stocks, and bonds, all to providing for us. These items required insurance, designed to protect our hard-earned real estate from city and state over-reach. We grew up and left the nest, and we assumed our elderly parents kept things in place and annually paid taxes and insurance using their retirement funds or whatever source of income was in place.
Consider this, what if your parents can no longer live by themselves, they sell their possessions and come to live with a son or daughter. Consider this, the son or daughter passes away, and you know nothing about the house you now call home or its financial responsibilities. Consider this, a natural disaster hits, and significant damage has occurred. You are displaced again. You discover the dwelling was paid off, but taxes and insurances had not been paid in years. Delinquent taxes and a damaged uninsured home is costly on several fronts. What do you do in a scenario like this? I am not an expert by any means. This discussion is to give you pause, and ask that you consider the position you may put your loved one in if business affairs are not in place in the home you opened up to become a caregiver. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, here are a few helpful tips:
1. A family discussion is so critical about the business events of living with others.
2. Contact the county treasurer’s office for tax-property discussions
3. Specific laws on property taxes vary by state
4. Love your family enough to ensure important information is up-to-date and accessible to those who need it.
As a family caregiver, you will encounter many new responsibilities. Natural disasters that impact property could be one of them. The primary caregiver, your loved one, and support village must know of the business side of the place called home for our parents. We will not escape incidents and situations in this life. Remember, the business side of caregiving cannot be ignored; it must be acknowledged! Responding to the challenge of ensuring your home’s business affairs is up-to-date starts with proactive and transparent discussions. The Black Book of Important Information for Caregivers has helpful nuggets to inform and guide.