Woman Studying peering at a stack of books

Seventy-two percent of a senior’s net worth is tied up in their home equity, according to the U.S. Census. Today’s caregivers—80% to be exact—often inherit the responsibility of managing and settling their loved one’s estate after they have passed away.

“Settling an estate is a rough job,” explains Matt Paxton, extreme cleaning expert and Legacy Navigator founder. “Imagine trying to empty out a house that your parents have lived in for 40 years, full of photographs, papers, outdated furniture and old china. You have to figure out what to do with all this stuff, and you have to do it when you’re overwhelmed by grief.”

Responses from a 2017 National Care Survey by Legacy Navigator found a significant amount of caregivers reported the responsibility of managing their loved one’s finances, the sale of the estate, and organizing all their belongings to be an especially difficult part of the grieving process.

In Santa Clara County, one in four residents will be over age 65 by 2060, as stated in the Sourcewise Area Plan on Aging 2016-2020. As the aging population rises, support resources for caregivers should follow. In fact, opportunities exist for families, employers, aging seniors, and caregivers to create much needed supportive networks.

Family members can offer assistance with caregiver responsibilities; employers can look at existing benefits and make changes to support the caregiver role; care recipients can start downsizing and bestowing assets while still living, and caregivers can build and incorporate self-care strategies.

Learn more about caregiver resources. Contact a Sourcewise Community Resource Specialist: (408) 350-3200, option 1.