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Tips on Talking to Aging Parents About Their Estate Plan

Tips on Talking to Aging Parents about Their Estate Plan

As parents get older, thoughts often linger for adult children. Questions about what to do if an illness causes a sudden health risk could be in the back of your mind. For some children, there seems to be a fine line between being prepared for any “what if” situation and stepping on your parent’s toes. Elder Law Month is the ideal time to have those difficult conversations and talking to aging parents about their Estate Plan. An Estate Planning Attorney from The Siegel Law Group can help. 

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No One’s Decisions or Needs Are the Same

One of the first factors to keep in mind is that you do not know what your parents’ wishes and goals are unless you speak to them about it. The fact is, thoughts, needs, goals, finances and health conditions are all different. You cannot assume you know what your parents need or want.

Instead, you need to talk about what their goals are, what their expectations are and what role you should play in them. In the book Let’s Talk About Aging Parents: A Real-Life Guide to Solving Problems with 27 Essential Conversations, by Laura Tamblyn Watts, it becomes clear that there is certainly a great deal to talk about with parents, especially in regard to their Estate Plan. Some of the most important questions to ask and answer include:

  • What should you do if your relationship with your parents is not a positive one and they need help?
  • What type of medical conditions could render them in need of immediate help? Who will provide that help?
  • What will you do when you and your siblings do not live close by but your parents need help?
  • Does your parent benefit the best from living independently, or do they really need the added support that an assisted living location could offer?
  • What type of family members are available to help, and what strong opinions must be navigated throughout the decision-making process from within that group?

There are many factors to think about here including how to make a home safer for a person that is getting older and discussing Estate Planning goals for end-of-life care. It is also important to monitor for signs of dementia and speak to your parents about what happens should dementia become evident.

How to Navigate Your Role in Your Parents’ Aging Process

At The Siegel Law Group, you gain insight into your role and how to navigate the essential Estate Planning tasks that are so critical to helping your family move through this very challenging period with the best possible outcome (and with the Peace Of Mind knowing you meet wishes and needs fairly).

Estate Planning Attorney Barry Siegel’s book, Caught in the Middle – Juggling Your Elderly Parents’ Affairs While Raising Your Own Family, provides a great deal of information about what steps to take now and why.

Siegel Law Group Founder Releases New Book on Elder Care, FL“A skilled Elder Law Attorney can help your loved one structure their assets in a way that shields them from the potentially ruinous costs of nursing homes. Options like creating a Medicaid-compliant annuity, an irrevocable trust, or a life estate can protect their money and property while ensuring they still have access to the care they need.”
— – Barry Siegel, Esq.

Factors to Consider When It Comes to Navigating Estate Planning and Talking to Aging Parents

Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys are critical allies in the process of helping to build a plan for what happens now and later. These professionals work with Seniors and their family members to understand needs and objectives, as well as concerns and financial opportunities and challenges, to create a way to navigate the future. Some of the most important topics to discuss with your parents right now, no matter their age or health, include the following:

  • Last Will and Testament: Estate Planning starts with having a comprehensive Will completed as it operates like a roadmap, helping with the decisions to be made during the Probate process.
  • Irrevocable Trusts: This type of tool helps to protect the assets your parents worked so hard to build from taxes and lawsuits filed after their death. It may also help to meet their long-term care costs down the road.
  • Living Wills: A Living Will provides specific information about medical care as well as any life-preserving methods that your parents want or do not want to be taken. Though a hard topic to discuss, it is important to know what they would want if they cannot make such decisions themselves.
  • Medicaid Planning: Experienced Elder Law Attorneys can help you qualify for Medicaid benefits and protect your assets from being exhausted to pay for your care.
  • Healthcare Advanced Directives: This component of an Estate Plan focuses heavily on the healthcare decisions that the individual wants in place.
  • HIPAA Authorization: This component of the Estate Plan helps to ensure that any medical information or other HIPAA-protected medical records are available to those who are named within the document, which may include you as a child.
  • Powers of Attorney: If a family member is in the hospital or otherwise cannot handle their specific business or financial affairs, the person named here is able to act on their behalf, which can be critical in situations where a long illness makes it hard for your family member to pay their bills or manage their money.

In many situations, families need to talk to aging parents about much more, including who will handle day-to-day care when a parent can no longer do so themselves. It also becomes critical to talk about end-of-life needs and what should happen with assets. Talking to aging parents and having these conversations now can help to improve the outcome when something does occur. Not only does this make it clear what the family should do, but it also alleviates the pain and discomfort of having to make critical decisions like this on your own.

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Call THE South Florida Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys – The Siegel Law Group

Discuss your case with an Estate Planning Attorney now. Even if you are unsure what the future holds or what your parent’s needs are, this conversation is valuable.

Call our office at 561-576-6206 to schedule a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Now is the time.

Protect yourself and those you love.

At the Siegel Law Group, we help South Florida families, seniors, and their loved ones prepare for the future.

Whether you need to create or update your estate plan, are preparing for long-term care, have a loved one entering or in a nursing home, or need to develop a strategy for your business, we are here to assist you.

Take your first step by contacting us for a complimentary consultation today.

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