Managing Bills/Paperwork for Someone You Care About

accountant-1238598__340Do you or someone you know have the responsibility to manage a family member or friend’s bills and/or important papers? Do you review the information to make sure everything being paid is needed?

Last week I assisted a client in her home with her bill payments. Her financial planner had reached out to me not too long ago to help as she is a widow with no children and wasn’t able to manage all the information since her husband’s death. When I met her, she said her husband used to pay all of the bills, arrange for services, and handle all of the necessary paperwork. After his death, she had someone assisting, but they stopped helping quite a while ago.

As I’ve come to know my client over the last few months and talking to her about her needs, I realized she was paying for services she didn’t use. She mentioned each time I was there that she never used the computer and  was always overwhelmed with all the paperwork. She didn’t know how to easily cancel things (she gets frustrated that you can’t usually reach a live person when calling in and doesn’t always understand the options given and what number to select to get her problem handled).

Last month we cancelled the AOL service that was automatically charged each month as she didn’t use e-mail. Last week I noticed her cable bill included internet and premium TV channel charges for which she doesn’t use. I contacted the vendor to cancel those services which will save her over $120 per month!

So if you are helping someone manage their paperwork, take the time to review the bills to see what is being paid. Are those services being used? Prior to the death of my client’s husband, e-mail, internet and premium channels were used. But since his death, she’s paid for services that weren’t needed. She didn’t know to review the charges and cancel what she wasn’t using. Be the trusted advisor to your friend or family member, and assist them with reducing costs. They may be on a fixed income and any dollars saved will be helpful to their cash flow.

And if you know of anyone who could use our help in this area of life, reach out to us. Call 310-534-5577 or e-mail us at We’re happy to help!