Facing the realities of aging parents is rarely a simple matter. Not only must you come to terms with how taking on more responsibilities for your parents may change your relationship, you must also address a number of issues that your parents may not want to discuss. Depending on the current nature of your relationship with your parents, you may face a number of difficulties in your efforts to help them plan for aging and end of life issues.
In many instances, it is useful to enlist the guidance of a professional who understands the intricacies of elder law. While your parents may need your guidance and care sooner than later, it is often easier for aging individuals to understand the issues at hand when a neutral party presents them. An experienced attorney can help you and your parents both understand the legal and financial matters that every aging person should consider, while keeping your parents’ rights and priorities protected.
Approaching finances with your parents
Many adult children face the difficult task of talking about money with their parents. In some cases, parents are ready and willing to accept this help, but not always. Depending on the resources your parents have available and the needs you anticipate, you may go about planning for the future any number of ways.
In general, planning for elder care and end of life care involve two primary concerns. Your parents must first address their own ongoing care and then consider how they want their property distributed or preserved when they pass away.
Simply sitting down and having a calm, loving conversation about these matters can go a long way. However, if finances are a contentious issue for your family, you may want to meet with an estate planning professional who can help each party understand elder financial matters. After all, it is important to prepare for the future both financially and personally, and this includes maintaining your relationship with your parents.
Dealing with health care
Elder health care is where many families see their carefully saved resources drain away. Without proper preparation, aging parents may burn through their savings and other assets well before they pass away, leaving them with little estate to pass down and few options for ongoing care.
The sooner that you and your parents address their health and their resources for health care, the sooner you can create a plan to keep them safe and address their ongoing needs. You may want to place assets in a special trust or use some specific type of insurance to care for your parents, but the longer you wait, the fewer options you and your parents have and the more expensive those options become. Not only may your parents need increased health care as they age, their home may only fit their needs for so long.
However you choose to address your parents’ financial planning and health care, do not wait. it may take some time for them to wake up to the idea of accepting help, so you may need to revisit the issue several times to make progress. Your parents are responsible for many of the best things that you have, and it is always important to make sure that you do what you can to give them the best care and protections they can obtain as you move with them into a new season of life.