Our Elder Law Attorney Explains How to Handle Your Parents’ Debt

Elder Law: How to Handle Your Parents’ Debt

As parents approach their elderly years, the stresses of the child certainly rise. You have to think about how you are going to take care of your parents deciding whether or not you will care for them in their home or if a nursing home is a better option. You have to get their will and estate all lined up. And for many of you with divorced parents, you have to deal with two completely separate cases. For this reason, elder law services are incredibly valuable. One of the yuckier issues that you will be faced with will be any credit card debt your parents will leave behind. And I say yucky because nobody wants to talk to their parents about money, especially when they are at the age where they are unable to work to erase it. Nonetheless, the problem doesn’t go away based on sentiment, which is why elder law services are helpful. Today, the Davidson Law Group blog discusses how to approach your parent’s credit card debt.

How Much Debt Are We Talking?

The first and most important thing that children should realize is that they will not inherit their parent’s debt. Meaning, if your parents die with $10,000 in credit card debt, the children are not handed the bill. However, it is also important to realize that while you won’t be handed the bill, the inheritance left by your parents might.

The first thing that must be established when discussing elder law for credit card debt is how much debt is in question. Obviously, the less debt the better, but knowing how much your parents owe will at least keep you in the light. You don’t want to be in a situation where one or both of your parents die and as you are grieving, you are also seeing that they had $20,000 in credit card debt that you didn’t know about.

The size of the debt also plays into how you will pay it. The goal here would be to manage to pay off your parents debts while they are still alive. This is both to alleviate the stress of a parent not wanting to leave their children with debt, but also to prevent a chaotic situation when your parents pass on.

Related Post: Understanding Debt and Wills

What Are Some Solutions?

This is the tougher question. As your parents become elderly, they are also more than likely retired. And if they have debt, they are also more than likely not sitting on a massive amount of saving, otherwise, they would just work to pay off their debt that way. What is more likely is that they are living on retirement income. Over 50% of people living on retirement live on less than $50,000 per year and the median income sits at $32,000.

This is a tough conversation, however, because you can only help if you’re parents are open to help. Elder law can help you in the long run if the debt doesn’t get paid off, but trying to get it paid off before that is necessary is ideal, but difficult. As far as solutions, they are the same as with any person. Create a plan. Find out how much they need to pay, how much they are willing to pay each month and go from there.

Let Davidson Law Group Help With Elder Law

Dealing with your parent’s debt is just one of many elder law issues that you will face as your parent’s age. From the cost of long-term care and nursing homes to medical powers of attorney, Davidson Law Group is here to help you find a solution. Contact us today in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler, TX. We look forward to working with you!