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Things You Must Discuss When Caring for Aging Parents

Things You Must Discuss When Caring for Aging Parents

If your parents are moving in with you soon, there are some important discussions you should have with them beforehand and even after they come to live with you. Aging comes with decreased physical and mental abilities, and you need to evaluate the extent to which you'll need to take over certain affairs in their lives. One important talk to have is whether they'll be able to drive safely going forward. Maybe your dad doesn't have to stop driving altogether, but it might be wise to suggest that he drive mostly during daytime hours and when traffic is not too high.

Your Parents' Financial Situation

Many adult children are not aware of how well or bad their parents' financial situations are. Therefore, you need to initiate honest discussions about their finances to get an idea of the steps you both need to take. If you feel awkward about the conversation, you can talk about someone you know whose parents recently passed on and how the parents were or were not financially prepared for this time. From there you can talk about the importance of getting their finances in order through an estate plan so that everything will be organized when they pass away. You can also offer to help them with setting up online bill pay and making payments for them. Another option would be for your parents to give you a detailed list of their checking accounts, savings accounts, creditors, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and any investments such as stocks and bonds.

Ask If They Have a Will

It's vital that your parents leave a will, and this is especially important if they have substantial assets. If they do not currently have a will, then assist them with doing so. Avoid forcing your own views on how your parents' assets should be handled and distributed because this will cause resentment from them. It would also be a good idea to meet with your siblings about the matter before talking with your parents to get their input. Another thing you want to do discuss your motives to avoid suspicion from your parents. Once your parents finish preparing it, you can visit an estate attorney to review it.

What About Long-Term Care?

If your parents are disabled and cannot care for themselves, you'll need to discuss the possibility of long-term care for them while you're not home during the day. Currently, there are about 6.3 million Americans who need long-term care because of decreased physical or mental abilities. And this number is expected to increase to 15% by the year 2050. You can talk about another senior citizen who needed long-term care and how your parents might benefit from the same type of service. This would especially help if your parents recently suffered a stroke or another illness that affected their abilities to do simple tasks. When purchasing long-term insurance, you want to purchase it while you're still healthy so that the cost will be reasonable.

In conclusion, these strategies will ensure that your parents' affairs are well-organized both in life and after death.

If you need assistance with estate planning, contact us. We offer counsel for issues such as preparing wills, establishing a living trust, or guardianship of children.