Posted by: Jennifer Johnson
If you are a senior or have a loved one who is struggling with the process of paying their household bills, a daily money management company like SilverBills (https://www.silverbills.com/) can eliminate the task and alleviate the worry about proper handling of monthly bills. As many baby boomers continue to opt for aging in place, home administrative tasks can become problematic. Family members who would like to help may live out of state or are too busy in their own careers to manage a loved one’s household bills. SilverBills has created a seamless service that will receive your bills, carefully review them, and ensure that your bills are correctly paid.
At your direction, SilverBills will mail you an enrollment packet. You will have to provide bills and one voided check to SilverBills in the envelope they provide. Once SilverBills receives the envelope they will convert your bills to “ebills”. Once enrolled in the service you will have a dedicated customer service representative that will assist you with any concerns or questions. SilverBills service will now receive, review, and ensure that your bills are paid for properly. The service guarantees that you will not incur late fees or penalties. In the event you do incur a service charge or late fee, it will be paid for by SilverBills.
No more getting to the mailbox or PO Box on a regular basis to look for bills. No more US Post Office trips to purchase stamps. No more calendaring due dates of bills and check writing. Once a month you will receive a statement showing your bills that have been paid. There are no contracts; you can cancel your service at any time. SilverBills uses the same 256-bit encryption used by banks so that your transactions are secure.
Automating your bills through a bill paying service is becoming more commonplace particularly for those 75 and older. It is easy for a senior with mild cognitive impairment to mistakenly pay a bill twice or not at all and have needed electricity or water services shut off. The ability to manage money is often one of the first skill sets that is impacted when someone is experiencing mild cognitive impairment. By the time a person reaches their seventies there is a 20% chance of cognition troubles. That percentage increases to 50% in our eighties.
SilverBills is one of a growing number of daily money management companies. The services can be expensive ($100 and up, per month) but the peace of mind a family can have knowing the day to day bills are being correctly handled is worth the price to many. The American Association of Daily Money Managers is an online resource that can help you find the right professional service for you or your loved one. Always ask for references and check accreditations before allowing access to your banking information and remember these bill paying services do not act as accountants or financial advisers. They are more akin to a personal financial assistant with the added bonus of consumer advocacy – looking for bill errors and potential fraud.
There are many reasons that accurate bill paying may become unmanageable for seniors. SilverBills and services like them are becoming increasingly popular for proper bill payment. Talk with your family or trusted counsel to see if it is the right choice for you.
Our firm is dedicated to helping our clients and their loved ones work through issues and implement sound legal planning to address them. If we can help in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact our office at (630) 221-1755. Huck Bouma, PC does not in any way endorse or recommend Silver Bills.