As our parents age, oftentimes the need will come up to have some tough conversations with them about planning for the future. Have you considered discussing estate plans with your aging parents? It may be best to try and approach these matters delicately, but it may also be important that serious issues are discussed as you want to protect your parents and ensure that they will be well taken care of should their care needs become more intense.
There are many issues that you may need to speak about regarding your parents’ estate plans. In this blog we are going to help provide you with a good starting point by discussing three very important questions that you may need to ask your aging parents.
1. Do your parents have advance directives in place? Advance directives play a significant role in estate planning. Advance directives include important health care documents that will come into play should your parents become incapacitated and unable to communicate health care wishes on their own behalf. Documents, such as a living will or a health care surrogate, can help ensure that the treatment wishes of your parents are honored even in the most difficult of circumstances.
2. Have your parents chosen trustworthy individuals to take on important legal roles in their estate plans? Estate planning involves designating people to take on different roles of significance should certain circumstances arise. For example, your parents may have selected a health care surrogate who will be tasked with making health care decisions for them should they become incapacitated. Your parents may also appoint a personal representative in their wills who will be tasked with properly managing and distributing their estate after death. These are all critical roles and you should discuss who your parents have selected to take on these important responsibilities.
3. Are your parents’ estate planning documents up-to-date? Do they accurately reflect their goals? An estate plan is one of the ways that people can ensure their legacy will go on and that the assets that they have chosen for loved ones can be accessed upon their death. To be most effective, estate plans should be up to date to reflect current living circumstances and major life events. You should talk to your parents about how they may update their estate plan.
For more help having difficult, but necessary, discussions with your aging parents about plans for the future, we are here. Please take a moment to call our office to schedule an appointment.