It can often be tricky enough to raise children; however, for those raising children and taking care of their own aging parents, the workload is doubled. The “sandwich generation” is a term that refers to those who are simultaneously caring for their own children as well as their elderly parents. While the stress may seem insurmountable for those juggling both of these tasks, there are ways to plan ahead and manage these challenges through the use of an effective Houston estate plan.
Compile Emergency Information about Aging Parents
Even before it seems necessary, it is important for people to have emergency information about one’s parents readily available. Having the following information easily accessible can save people from frantic moments after an unforeseen medical emergency has occurred: copies of insurance and prescription cards, the contact information of primary care physicians, basic medical history, and a current list of medications and dosage. Additionally, it is critical to have an elderly parent’s financial information on hand, such as contact information for banks and a list of financial accounts, in case of incapacitation or other emergencies. Check out our wonderful Family Document Checklist Tool.
Involve Children in Elderly Parent’s Care
One of the benefits of being part of the “sandwich generation” is that children can be involved in helping with their grandparent’s care. From having older children drive their grandparents to their doctor’s appointments, to having the younger ones teach them how to use the television, encouraging children to play an active role will decrease the parents’ stress and allow children to be involved. Additionally, by having children spend this precious time with their grandparents, they will likely have less anxiety as they see their grandparents continue to age.
Have an Estate Plan Prepared
Without the proper documentation prepared, it can often be extremely difficult to fully assume the caretaker role. Because of this, it is important to draft estate plan documents like a power of attorney, a will, and a healthcare proxy before an emergency occurs.
A will indicates how a person’s estate is to be administered and how assets will be distributed after their passing. A will must also name an Executor, the individual who will manage the estate and distribute the assets. By creating a will and specifying how property is to be handed out after death, it can reduce family fighting over the matter and ensure a smoother transition during what is already an overwhelming time.
A power of attorney is also a critical document to have, as it allows an individual to act on behalf of their loved one in the event of incapacitation. A power of attorney is able to make decisions about property distribution, as well as legal and financial matters. A healthcare proxy is similar to a power of attorney because it allows a loved one to make medical decisions for another when they are unable to do so themselves. When people wait until their parents are incapacitated to prepare these documents, they may need to go to court to sort it out, wasting precious time.
Taking care of elderly parents and children simultaneously can be very stressful and overwhelming. Because of this, it is critical to consult an elder law and estate planning attorney who can help determine the appropriate steps and create a plan so there are no last-minute worries.
Do You Need a Houston Estate Planning Attorney?
If you or a loved one are thinking about creating a Houston estate plan, contact the skilled attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. With a team of experienced lawyers ready to assist you, we will help meet your specific estate planning or elder law needs. Our attorneys will take the time to understand your estate planning goals and use their knowledge to craft a plan that works for you and your family. To schedule a risk-consultation, call us at 713-333-8900 today.