Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ)

Daily Money Manager for Seniors

Q. As a daily money manager for seniors, what are the services you provide?

A. Eddy & Schein In-Home Administrators for Seniors® manages and coordinates personal, financial, legal, and health insurance matters for seniors—right in their own residences. Please click here for a full list of our services.

Q. I’m a senior citizen and sometimes I have trouble seeing some of the fine print on bills. I get overwhelmed by the amount of mail, bills, and health insurance claims. It’s hard to keep things organized. What would you advise on the amount of time we would need to work together?

A. Bill paying and health insurance claims are complicated under the best of circumstances. If you are having trouble seeing the paperwork, it can become overwhelming. It depends very much on the amount of paperwork involved and if you have fallen behind with some tasks. It could take us anywhere from a couple of weeks to as much as three months to get everything organized. Once that is done, and based on your needs, we might visit you weekly or less frequently.

Q. I am a nurse at a home health care agency and a new client needs to have a financial consultation to see if he has the ability to pay our bills or to move into an assisted living facility. Is this something that you do?

A  We can do an initial consultation to review his assets, income and expenses, and discuss with him the options open to him.

 
Professional Organizer

Q. I am legally blind and hard of hearing. I am missing important documents which I need to open a bank account and for other applications.  How do I get them replaced?

A. We would be happy to help you navigate the systems to replace license, passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, and more.

Q. I have a system. Will you make me change it?

A. We try to work within the system you already have in place. In some cases we have actually been able to improve upon an existing system. But we always make sure that you are comfortable with any changes.  

Q. My elderly aunt is living in clutter and I suspect that her finances may be just as disorganized. Can you organize the household mess as well as help with the bill paying?

A. We focus on financial organizing and help to hire a professional organizer to do the residential organizing.

 

Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Estate Executor

Q. Does Eddy & Schein act as Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Executor for clients?

A. If a client requests that one of the partners acts as Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, or Executor, an attorney can assign in the legal documents either Rebecca Eddy or Gideon Schein to fill those roles. The firm cannot be assigned, but the firm carries fiduciary insurance which covers any errors & omissions made by one of the partners acting in the assigned capacity. 
 

Caring for Aging Parents and Other Relatives

Q. I’m taking care of my elderly parents who are becoming more forgetful. What can you advise?

A. You might want to take a look at a list of the most common mistakes seniors and their families make – and some relatively easy solutions. Of course, if you have any other questions or concerns, please call for a free telephone consultation. Please click here for “10 Mistakes to Avoid: Making Your Senior Years Easier” to make sure that your parents and you are prepared for their senior years.

Q. My parents won’t share their financial information with me. Is there another way to help them?

A. Often parents are more comfortable confiding in an outside objective professional than they are with their children. Once they have overcome the hurdle of working with outside professionals and see things more streamlined, many seniors will begin to bring their children into conversations about their finances.

Q. How do I convince my parents that they need your help?

A. Eddy & Schein has been working with seniors for well over a decade and has worked on all aspects of finances and medical issues. We help seniors remain as independent and as in charge of their affairs as possible. One of our strategies in the initial consultation is to help the senior identify areas where he or she needs help, and then address those issues on a project or on-going basis.

Q. We are trying to help our aunt and uncle who have diminished capacity figure out where to live so they have the support they need, but they are not able to give us a clear sense of their assets and income and the piles of paper are daunting.  What should we do?

A. If you have the time to sort through their mail and papers, you can begin to identify assets and sources of income. This very often involves searching through drawers, file cabinets, and under furniture in order to piece together a whole picture – the kind of initial sleuthing Eddy & Schein does when beginning work with some clients.

 

Estate Planning

Q. My aging parents have done nothing in terms of estate planning, do you have any suggestions?

A. If you tell them you have a will, this may ease their minds and open a conversation about a subject they have not wanted to address. If they are open to your help, gather the documents that reflect all their assets, talk to your parents about how they want their assets distributed, and who they would want to act as executor. Have an attorney work with your parents to develop an estate plan and draft a will. The attorney may give instructions on lifetime gifting and/or the establishment of trusts, and help you and your parents carry out these directions.

Q. My parents have wills that go back quite a few years. How often should wills be reviewed?

A. It’s always good to review wills every five years, or any time there are changes in marital status or other special occasions like the birth of a child or grandchild.

Q. My bachelor uncle just died and I am the executor of his will. I need help gathering all his financial documents in order to know what assets he has and to consolidate them so I can work with his attorney to probate his will. Can you help?

A. Eddy & Schein has often helped as back-up to executors who are too busy to do the digging needed to gather together all the assets of a deceased person.

 

Retirement Planning

Q. How do we make sure that our aging aunt has the right retirement plan?

A. This question will require the assistance of a financial advisor and an attorney (Trusts & Estates or Elder Law, depending on the financial circumstances of your aunt). If she is middle class, there may be a need for Medicaid planning to avoid spending down assets which could otherwise be used to help her stay at home (often called “aging in place”).  Without such planning by an Elder Law Attorney, your aunt could end up in a nursing home with no funds for additional support. Eddy & Schein can help gather the information the attorney and financial advisor would need to make an accurate recommendation and to implement a plan.

 

Medicare, Supplemental Insurance, and Medical Bills

Q. What is the best way for me to keep up to date on all that is going on with Medicare so that my parents get everything that’s coming to them?

A. You can obtain a good deal of information by going to www.medicare.gov. In addition, Gideon Schein writes a blog and includes up-to-date information on Medicare. When investigating, you need to consider the interrelationship of Medicare A, B, D, and supplemental insurance, and any prior existing insurance.

Q. Should I pay my parents’ medical bills as soon as we receive them?

A. A basic rule of thumb is to wait until there is an indication that Medicare and the secondary insurance provider have paid their shares. There are more complicated situations that we would be happy to discuss with you.

 

Keeping Seniors in Their Own Homes

Q. I live in another part of the country and I worry that mom and dad may have to go into a retirement home soon. I have arranged for somebody to come in to clean and cook meals a couple of hours a day, but I know that they need help organizing their finances, and I’m just too far away. Can you still work with them even though their closest relative lives somewhere else?

A. Yes, absolutely. We do this all the time.

Q. My mother is bouncing checks and I don’t live nearby. Is there a way that you can help?

A. We can meet with her to see what is causing the lack of funds. If she agrees, we can work with her to identify sources of income and the extent of her expenses. It may be as simple as setting up direct deposit of dividend and pension checks, or regular reconciliation of bank statements.

Q. My elderly neighbors are worried they may have to go into a retirement home soon, which they don’t want to do. Can you help?

A. It could be just a matter of helping them manage their finances, pay bills, and review their insurance claims. Very often seniors who work with Eddy & Schein stay in their own homes (called “aging in place”) for a significantly longer time than if left on their own.

 

Work With Younger People

Q. Do you work with people other than seniors? I am solidly in the sandwich generation, with aging parents to care for and teenage children still at home. Not only am I having trouble taking care of everybody else, but I think I need a daily money manager myself. Can you help?

A. Absolutely. We are pleased to provide our expertise and services to people of all ages. Click here for more information.

 

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