Your parents may have seemed invincible when you were a kid. But now that you’re older, you can see a decline in their health and once-sharp memories. Sadly, the illness or death of a parent with no estate plan can impose significant financial burden and emotional strain on their children.
A clear plan can provide peace of mind for elderly parents and their children
An unexpected health crisis of a parent often forces their children to quickly make last-minute arrangements and find ways to pay for treatment. Also, disagreements among the children can arise over the parent’s medical care and estate when there is no plan to refer to.
Preparing in advance through a will, healthcare power of attorney, financial power of attorney and other estate planning documents may help mitigate the stress and pain of these challenging situations. Moreover, with a plan set, you can worry less about struggling with your parents’ health care bills on top of your own financial responsibilities.
Your parent’s aging is an inevitable and harsh reality to accept. However, it may also present an opportunity for you to reciprocate the care they’ve provided you.
Preparing your parents for estate planning
Despite the challenges of aging, elderly parents value their independence. They want to continue driving themselves or living on their own. However, maintaining this autonomy over their lives involves preparing for the future. That is where an estate plan can help.
If you aren’t sure where to start, consider taking the following steps:
- Talk to your parents about estate planning.
Participating in your parents’ future care and asset planning promotes transparency and minimizes future disputes. However, initiating discussions on estate planning can be uncomfortable and may require patience.
- Help your parents realize their goals.
Estate planning is not just about designating to whom assets will pass on but may also enable your parents to establish their healthcare preferences, prep for long-term care costs and safeguard the care of any minor children.
- Consult an attorney.
Estate plans can be personalized to meet your parents’ unique needs. An attorney can help prepare, streamline and scrutinize your parent’s estate plan to ensure nothing is overlooked. Moreover, they can also act as a mediator if these discussions become too emotionally challenging.
Your parents may be at a phase in their life where their needs should be a priority over asset protection. If you need help figuring out a strategy that best suits their requirements or initiating an estate plan, consulting with an experienced estate planning attorney could be helpful.