Aging Parents And Loss Of Wealth In Widowhood

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By Carolyn Rosenblatt

It’s a classic situation with aging parents in their 80s and 90s.  Men in their generation often earned the money in the family and handled investments.  When the wives become widows they are unsophisticated about finances.  This is a recipe for the kind of trouble we see over and over again at AgingParents.com.  Here’s a real life situation that I hope will wake up some Boomers with aging parents right now.
Two sisters, Anita and Alene have never gotten along.  Their father was the only wage earner in the family. He had done well enough to buy their family home, as well as two other investment properties.  He had a retirement account with cash in it and left an estate worth over $2 million for his wife’s support at the time of his passing.
Their mother, Bonnie, had barely ever written a check. She simply didn’t understand money and didn’t want to.  Anita is a highly paid professional who lives at a distance from Bonnie.  Alene had given up working in retail to care for her father until he died. She then moved in with Bonnie at Bonnie’s request.  Bonnie gave Alene Power of Attorney.  That was where the trouble began.
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