Important Conversations to Have with Aging Parents During the Holidays

With Thanksgiving and other holidays fast approaching, it is the time that families come together to celebrate and reflect on what they are grateful for. And while gathered around the Thanksgiving dinner table, family members catch up, discuss hot-button topics, and sometimes have difficult conversations. Especially when aging loved ones attend these holiday functions, it is an important time to talk with them about the future, including their wants and needs as they relate to estate planning. Although these may be tough conversations to initiate, it is essential to plan ahead and avoid uncertainty and stress in the future. Below are some of the conversations people should consider having with their aging loved ones this holiday season.

1. Money and Living Situation

As people get older, it becomes harder to live alone and complete everyday tasks without the assistance of others. Because of this, individuals may want to talk with elderly loved ones about their long-term living situation preferences. Some people prefer moving to a long-term care facility, while others may prefer to stay with family—and either have a loved one take care of them or hire a home health aide to come into the house.

Additionally, finances can be a personal and tricky topic to talk about. However, it is essential to know about an aging loved one’s financial situation, as this can impact the type of long-term care they will be able to afford. Knowing about their finances can also be helpful to determine strategies to maximize their savings and government benefits during retirement.

Here’s a family document checklist that we consider a great starting point when trying to start these conversations.

2. Health

Individuals should also talk with their parents about their health and continuing needs. While people may know a little about their parents’ medical issues, it is critical to discuss the medications, risks, and overall information associated with these conditions. This way, in case of an emergency, people will be able to quickly inform doctors and make well-informed medical decisions for their loved ones based on the totality of the information.

It is important to note that many of the above topics are not one-time conversations but long-term processes. Some aging loved ones will need time to reflect, while others will be ready to have these discussions immediately when the topic is brought up.

Additionally, estate planning attorneys can assist during this process. Because they work with families on these issues regularly, they will know the critical concerns to discuss and plan ahead for. And if any of the aging loved one’s wishes or intentions for the future are not in writing, attorneys can draft an estate plan that will meet the individual’s current, and future, needs.

Contact a Houston Estate Planning Attorney

If you are having conversations with aging parents about their future this Thanksgiving, contact the Houston estate planning attorneys at McCulloch & Miller, PLLC. Our knowledgeable attorneys have decades of experience working with aging loved ones and their families to plan their future. They will work with you to develop a plan and avoid the uncertainty that tends to arise as people get older. To schedule a no-risk consultation, give us a call today at 713-333-8900.

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