Caring for Family Members

5 steps to establish
financial caregiving

Sometimes loved ones may need extra help managing finances.

These steps can help you get started with financial caregiving.

Step 1: Recognize when someone may need help with money

You may recognize that a loved one needs financial care and assistance if you notice:

If you notice any of these warning signs, it may be time to begin a financial care conversation so that trusted friends or family members can provide support, oversight, and guidance.

Step 2: Open the door to a financial care conversation

The topic of financial caregiving is sensitive, so it is vital that everyone involved feels comfortable talking candidly about the subject.

To encourage open dialogue: 

Step 3: Discuss roles and financial responsibilities

Talk openly about your concerns so that your loved one understands your perspective.

Be clear about the needs and reach agreement on what role everyone can play in the financial caregiving process.

Important questions about roles and responsibilities may include:

We recommend creating a basic chart that lists the tasks to be done, who’s on point for each task, and supporting details such as dates or contact information.

Step 4: Determine what financial access may be needed

In some cases, a trusted person may be identified to manage finances, or even complete transactions.

This may never be needed, but it’s better to proactively consider the pros and cons of available options and consult a lawyer as needed before financial access is delegated. 

Some options to consider may include:

Wells Fargo Online® Guest User
For customers who use online banking, adding a guest user to an account may sometimes be helpful.

Guest users can:


The account holder can manage guest users by signing on to Wells Fargo Online and going to Security & Support > Use Account Access Manager.

Authorized Account Signer
You may consider adding an authorized signer if you need full support on an account. An authorized signer has the same authority as the owner for the account(s) they are added to. Once added to an account, signers do not need the owner’s input or approval for transactions.

To add a signer, you both must visit a Wells Fargo branch.

Financial Power of Attorney (POA)
A power of attorney (POA) is a written authorization by which a person (called the Principal) can appoint another person (called an Agent or Attorney-in-Fact) to act on their behalf on financial affairs or a legal matter.

As a reminder, state requirements for a legal revocation of a POA vary and automatically end when the principal passes away.

To add a POA to a Wells Fargo account, the account holder may either sign the Wells Fargo Power of Attorney form (only applies to Wells Fargo Mortgage and Home Equity accounts) or present Wells Fargo with a power of attorney previously prepared and executed elsewhere.

Step 5: Stay organized with detailed financial care records

When you’re acting on behalf of another person with their finances, keeping detailed records will be essential.

It’s best to do this together so that you both can:  

Read more

You’re on your way to begin caring for someone’s finances. Up next:

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We’re here for you

If you’re looking for options, a local banker could help.

Deposit products offered by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC.