Bringing Clarity and Order

Barb and Ben were overwhelmed. He was in and out of the hospital. And, while Barb had worked full time and raised four children (now busy professionals with children of their own), she had never handled the family finances or paperwork. With the added stress and time commitment of caring for Ben, their paperwork was piling up. Some mail hadn’t been opened. Other issues that required detailed follow-up had been put aside.

Knowing she needed assistance, Barb asked her trusted advisors and community organizations if they could refer her to a professional who helped seniors with their paperwork — a daily money manager or financial organizer. Several of them recommended me.

I met with Barb and her daughter around her kitchen table. They got to know me and I got a picture of her situation and challenges. We started meeting weekly to process the backlog of paper and issues, handle new mail, review and pay bills, and submit Ben’s insurance claims. We found ways to streamline and simplify the paper handling process. We got a handle on her home maintenance expenses and needs. Together, we communicated with her accountant, attorney, and financial adviser.

Barb was the ultimate decision maker and she alone signed all checks. Her daughter, her Power of Attorney, set up on-line access to her bank account in case that was needed.

Most importantly, calm was restored. Ben’s health was declining and Barb had more time and energy to focus on him, knowing that the bills were being paid and paperwork handled correctly.

Her children, all of whom live far away, also had the peace of mind that Mom was getting the hands-on assistance she needed. “I don’t want to worry about her bills, I just want to be her daughter,” Barb’s daughter said during a visit home. With a trusted financial organizer in place, working side by side with her mom, now she can.

Helping Every Step of the Way

(As told by their daughter, Ruth, Power of Attorney and Executor)

“Finding and hiring Karen was the best thing my mother did for herself, and for me and my brother, in the last year of her life. My mother first hired Karen when she desperately needed help managing everyday finances, a job my father had always done but could do no longer, as he entered end-stage emphysema.She was referred to us by the social worker at their continuing care community.

Karen set up workable systems, which required as little work as possible from my mother, and helped my mother handle what was left to do. When my father died, Karen was there to take my mother through the legal labyrinth of settling his estate. And when my mother died several months later, Karen was there, with a complete grasp of my parents’ finances and the institutions they had worked with, to handle my mother’s estate for me.

I don’t know what my family would have done without Karen. As the single mom of a then two year old, working full time in the next state, I could not meet my mother’s needs or take care of my mother’s estate after she died.

Karen is kind and personable, in addition to being smart and efficient, and my mother looked forward to her visits. As for me, Karen helped make the difficult period after my mother’s death more bearable. Karen is trustworthy and honest. She kept impeccable records of everything she did, and she took care of everything at an affordable rate.”