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April 24, 2024

How a Junior Trustee Can Help Manage Your Loved One’s Finances

I recently met with a mother and her two sons. The mother was showing signs of dementia and was mistakenly blaming others for unpaid bills like her electric bill. To address this, I recommended adding a “Junior Trustee” to help manage her finances. This arrangement allows us to teach our children how we manage our money and ensures they can take over immediately if we are unable to sign our name, similar to what happened when my own mother had a stroke.

The mother liked the idea, and her sons agreed that the son living nearby would take on the role and keep his brother, who lives far away, informed about all financial decisions. This was important as the distant son wanted to ensure that his brother would not take advantage of their mother.

After being added as a “Junior Trustee,” the son went with his mother to the bank and her financial advisor and was added to her accounts. He set up all her bills on autopay, updated the overdue electric bill, and discovered that her water and gas bills were also unpaid. He managed to address all these issues while ensuring his mother felt in control and maintained her dignity.

Legally, the son is a co-trustee, but this role allows him to let his mother lead while he subtly takes over the necessary tasks. This approach helps the parent maintain the belief that they are still in charge.

If your loved one is struggling to remember to pay their bills, please let me know.

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Geisler Patterson Law


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