My Son Wants to Sign Onto My Accounts
"About a year ago I lost my wife of 50 years. It was hard at first, but I have acclimated and am now getting out more. I have one child, a son. He lives about 10 miles from my home. Since my wife died, he has tried becoming more involved in my affairs. He wants me to place him as a signer on my bank accounts. He asks probing questions about my medications, my finances, and how I manage my home. I believe that he is trying to be helpful, yet I feel uneasy with his attempts to become involved in my affairs. I am 75 years young. What are your thoughts?"
Thankfully, most 75-year-olds manage their affairs just fine. You are likely one of those individuals, though I cannot be certain just because you say so.
First, take a close look at how you are managing. Are you keeping your home in reasonable shape? Are the dishes done, is the bed made, do you have clean laundry, and is the house in order? If you cannot answer honestly with, "Yes," your son may have reasons for his concern. Walking into a messy home gives off warning signs in a child's brain. At the risk of stereotyping here, some men are not as tidy as their wives were.
Secondly, do you pay your bills on time? Are you someone who falls for every caller trying to extract money from you? Is your money properly invested? As you age, it is not a bad idea to share your investing philosophy with your son. He may be able to learn a thing or two from you. It might also give him peace of mind that you are managing just fine.
Lastly, how is your health? Be honest here. Are you a fit 75, or are you plagued with health problems? If you fall into the latter group, your son has good reason to be around more and watch you closely. He is your support system.
Now getting down to what I suspect is going on here. You lost a wife, and your son lost his mother. Now you have each other. I believe that your son is feeling more responsibility for his remaining parent right now. You may not need supervision, as you state, but your son may want to stay close to you right now. He also may have mild concern if you are letting anything go that maybe you should not be.
What I would do is share with your son a bit about how you are doing emotionally and with managing the household alone. Tell him about your finances if you are comfortable doing that. Be forthcoming about your health. Seek his support on home projects if needed. I also recommend that you are grateful for a son that cares and is around. It sounds like you have many years to live. Make them happy with your son involved.
I wish you the best.
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