Whether geographic differences or timing and availability may make it difficult at times to get the entire family together, the holidays could be a perfect opportunity to start an important conversation about the future with everyone around to take part. Your parents are getting older, and with you and your siblings living in different states with children, careers, and lives of their own, being proactive and getting the family all on the same page will save you stress and chaos for the future. Although you might not feel this time of year as time to talk estate planning, the tips below can help you out and make the conversation productive and easier for everyone.
1) WHAT TO LOOK FOR – Discuss with siblings or adult children the need for conversation with Mom and Dad ahead of time.
A few things to watch for with Mom and Dad include: unpaid bills, bruises on arms or forehead, unkempt home when Mom or Dad are normally fastidious, empty refrigerator, apparent weight loss or gain, hoarding, home in need of repairs, trip hazards such as throw rugs on hardwood floors, clutter on stairs, etc. Learn about ELDERLY RISKS
2) BREAK THE ICE – Ease into the conversation. This can be a sensitive and difficult subject for aging parents. Express your concerns, whether they’re medical, financial, etc. CONSIDER THE COST OF CARE
3) ASK QUESTIONS – Find out if your parents have already done planning on their own that you may not know about. Perhaps Mom and Dad had documents already in place. Review them, maybe they need updating? Read about ESSENTIAL DOCUMENTS and RECOMMENDED PROVISIONS
4) LEAVE THE CONVERSATION OPEN – Maybe you just needed to start Mom and Dad thinking. Nothing has to be decided today, although postponing this for too long isn’t a good thing either.
5) MEET WITH A PROFESSIONAL – Although it may seem simple, there are essential documents that are best drawn up by a professional. Look for an attorney that specializes in not only asset protection, but elder law, to help plan, and protect your estate for now and for the future! You don’t have to do this alone, and that’s where we can help! Schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation with attorney Darol Tuttle HERE.