The Holidays – A Great Time for a Family Board Meeting

If your family is like most, the holidays are one of the few times during the year that the entire family gets together in the same place at the same time.  If you happen to be an adult child serving as a caregiver for an elderly parent (or parents), now is the perfect time to take charge as CEO of your “family care corporation” and schedule your annual board meeting.

Typically, if children are caring for aging parents, one of the children shoulders the burden more than the others.  If you are in this position, do what any corporate CEO would do…schedule a board meeting and do some strategic planning.  Manage the business of family caregiving by working with other members of the board (your siblings and your parents, if they are able) to make sure all parts of the business are being managed efficiently and that all parties are contributing to its success. 

Make sure the following job duties are covered by members of the board:

  • Managing the finances.  Making sure that someone is overseeing the finances and making sure that bills are being paid.  With online bill pay and access to bank accounts from remote locations, this may be the perfect job for the out-of-town sibling that is demographically unable to handle other duties. 
  • Managing the care.  If you are working with a Geriatric Care Manager or in-home care company, someone needs to be the primary contact for these services and communicate any developments to the rest of the family.
  • Managing the day-to-day operations.  This is likely the job for the sibling that lives nearest. It includes running errands and accompanying elderly parents to medical appointments and getting groceries, amongst other things.

Once duties have been delegated, be sure that each sibling has the tools he or she needs to do their job.  Make sure necessary authorizations are in place, which may include legal documents including Durable Powers of Attorney for General/Financial and Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care.  Schedule frequent reporting sessions so everyone can stay on the same page.  And make it a point to schedule family meetings with your parents’ professional advisors – financial planner, CPA, estate planning attorney, etc.  This group of professionals can serve as a crucial advisory board for you and your family.

A business cannot be successful if one person is trying to fill every position.  As the sibling who has chosen to take charge, make sure you empower your siblings to contribute to the success of your family care corporation.