Adult children should discuss estate plans with aging parents
Discussing post-death matters and potential medical needs can be a difficult conversation to have with your parents. While it can be uncomfortable to discuss what will happen if your parents pass away or become incapacitated at some point, it is a necessary conversation to have. As an adult child to aging parents, you will need to know their wishes and understand their plans in case the unexpected happens and you have to make critical decisions on their behalf.
As this is not an easy topic to address, you will find it beneficial to prepare ahead of time. Talking to your parents about what they want can provide peace of mind for the entire family, giving each of you peace of mind regarding the future. This conversation also allows you to see if your parents need additional steps to have a complete estate plan that will provide them with the maximum amount of protection and control.
Important questions to ask
Your aging parents may have estate planning documents they haven’t considered in some time, or they may not have any plans at all. As someone who may need to support and care for them, having as much information as possible can help you make the right decisions, as well as reduce the chance for complications with other heirs and beneficiaries. Some questions that may be helpful include:
- Where are your estate planning documents located?
- Do you have a will, and if you do, is it up to date?
- What advanced directives do you have?
- Have you planned for long-term care?
- Who do you want to make important decisions for you in case of incapacitation?
- Do you have a Do Not Resuscitate order and other medical documents?
- What is your login information for your financial accounts?
These questions are an example of how you can approach a sensitive subject with your parents in a way that is respectful while still helping them consider difficult matters. Each estate plan is different, and each person will have different goals for his or her long-term plans.
Confidence for the future
One of the reasons why you do not want to delay in having this conversation with your parents is that it will allow you to have confidence regarding their future interests. The needs of aging Florida parents can change on a daily basis, and you will benefit from knowing how you can support and help them as these needs arise.