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Strategic Guidance For Life’s Next Move

Addressing your parents’ estate before they need eldercare

On Behalf of | Mar 12, 2024 | Estate Planning

As your parents age, a conversation about eldercare will likely become somewhat inevitable. It’s a time to help ensure their well-being and navigate senior living and/or support options. But before diving into caregiving logistics, a crucial step often gets overlooked: addressing their estate.

This might seem like a somber topic, but proactively tackling it may offer significant benefits for both your parents and yourself. Understanding why getting your parents’ estate in order before eldercare transitions is essential to making informed decisions for your loved one’s golden years.

Why estate planning matters for eldercare

Planning your parents’ estate streamlines the eldercare journey in several ways. The most relatable advantage is how finalizing estate planning reduces stress for you and your parents. When faced with a sudden health decline, scrambling to manage finances and assets adds tremendous stress. Having an organized estate plan can minimize confusion and emotional burden for you and your family.

Additionally, a clear estate plan can allow your parents to determine who manages their finances and healthcare decisions if they become incapacitated. This empowers them to maintain control over their future. It’s also crucial to remember that eldercare can be expensive. Knowing your parents’ financial situation and potential benefits can help your family navigate costs and secure the best care options.

Taking action

When initiating a conversation about estate planning with your parents, try to ensure you choose a calm and private setting. Emphasize how this planning helps ensure their future well-being and may ease the burden later in life.

Once they’re on board with finalizing their estate plans, work with your parents to create an inventory of their assets (property, investments, accounts) and liabilities (debts, loans). This way, you can encourage your parents to create (or update) a will, which outlines beneficiaries for their assets.

Two of the most crucial documents you shouldn’t forget about are a durable power of attorney for finances, which authorizes someone to manage your parents’ finances if needed, and a healthcare power of attorney, which gives someone the legal authority to make healthcare decisions on their behalf.

By seeking legal guidance to help address your parents’ estate before eldercare transitions, you can help ensure a smoother path for everyone involved. It’s a thoughtful gesture that can help you to honor their wishes, protect their legacy and allow you to focus on their well-being during their golden years.