The Life Transition Blog

What Is A Daily Money Manager?

Dear Sheri:

My husband recently passed away and he always handled our household bills and budget. I don't even know where to begin to get everything in order. Is there someone who can help me with this?

Intimidated Irene

Dear Irene:

First off, please accept my condolences to you on your loss. It may help to know that your situation is not at all unusual. Often, one spouse handles the family finances. This works out well from the standpoint of division of labor, but leaves the other spouse at a real disadvantage when the situation changes, especially if it is a sudden and unexpected change. As a new widow, I'm sure you have a lot on your mind, not to mention the piles of paperwork you're probably handling to settle your late husband's estate.

Fortunately, there are professionals who specialize in helping people in your situation. They are called Daily Monday Managers, or DMMs. DMMs offer a range of services, including helping you to manage your mail and set up a system for paying your bills, assisting with check writing and maintaining bank accounts, helping you create a realistic budget and stick to it, and developing a tax planning and organization system. In addition, many DMMs have expertise in medical billing advocacy and can make sure you are paying only those medical bills that have been correctly billed and processed. A DMM can also help you with the many tasks that are necessary to settle an estate, including obtaining various records, closing accounts, and gathering items needed by attorneys and accountants.

Be sure to choose a daily money manager who is bonded and insured. Also, be sure the person you choose specializes in working with older adults and their families and is not simply a bookkeeper for businesses. Many DMMs are members of a national organization called the American Association of Daily Money Managers. You can learn more about this profession, as well as search for a DMM to help you, by visiting their website at http://www.aadmm.com.
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