Some conversations are easier than others to have with your parents—as a child, a teenager, and even as an adult. And as parents age, there are certain aspects of life their children may be concerned about—especially when planning ahead can potentially avoid disasters in the future. One of these topics is estate planning. While starting the conversation about estate planning with parents may not be easy, it is critical to do so in order for children to know how their parents would like future decisions to be made. Below are some questions that children can ask their parents about estate planning to begin the conversation and ensure they are taken care of in the future.
Do You Have an Estate Plan in Place?
The first question that elder parents should be asked is if they already have an estate plan in place. Some individuals may assume they do not need a will, most likely because they do not have significant assets to pass on, but this is not the case. Having a will can ensure the assets and personal property a person does have is passed on to who they would actually like to receive the gifts and not have to go through a long, drawn-out process.
Additionally, there are other documents in an estate plan that are critical for aging loved ones to have, such as a financial and medical power of attorney—having these documents allows a designated loved one to make decisions on their behalf in case they are physically incapacitated or mentally unable to do so for themselves anymore. These estate planning documents can also identify how they would like to be cared for in the future and how drastic of medical treatment they should receive. This allows loved ones who have to make this decision the peace of mind, knowing they are making choices the person would approve of. Even if an aging parent says they do have an established estate plan, it is still a good idea to have an attorney review it every few years to make sure it is accurate and up to date.