As your parents continue to age, their estate plan needs to be updated. If you’re unsure whether your parents have done their estate planning, including long term care planning, it’s okay to chat with them. While this can be difficult to do, these are important conversations to have. Take a look at the following information, for advice on what topics to discuss. If you have any questions, or if you’d like to assist your parents with their estate planning, contact an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.
Do your parents know how they’d wish to distribute property after their death? If they have yet to create a will or trust, this is an important planning need. A will or trust can outline property distribution wishes so that the right beneficiaries receive assets. With no plan, state law will determine how assets are distributed and it may well not be how your parents would wish.
Have they planned for possible incapacity? A medical emergency can happen at any time. It’s important for your parents to have an incapacity plan in place so that they can get help with their financial and medical affairs, even when they’re unable to communicate their wishes or give consent.
Have your parents considered their funeral planning wishes? If your parents have particular wishes, it’s important that they voice these opinions, even put them in writing.
Have your parents considered where they stand on the use of end of life treatments? An Advance Health Care Directive is an important planning document that allows individuals to express their wishes for end of life medical treatments and procedures. Without one in place, you or your loved ones may have to make difficult decisions on behalf of your parents and this can cause family discord.
These are just a sampling of issues to discuss with your parents. However, it is a good starting place. The next step would be to see to it that they meet with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan. If they have had a plan created some years ago, it would be prudent to have it reviewed by such an attorney.
If you have any questions, or if you need help discussing your estate planning concerns with your parents, consult with an experienced and qualified estate planning attorney.