Having the Tough “Talk” with Your Aging Parents

Estate PlanningHaving the difficult “talk” with your aging parents about elderly living arrangements, end-of-life care, and finances during retirement is one discussion most people would rather put off as long as possible. Putting off this talk too long, however, can delay the discussion until it is too late. If your parents become incapacitated and can no longer communicate their wishes, you would be left in the dark about what arrangements they would want.

When Should You Have the Talk?

Correct timing of this important discussion can help avoid many uncomfortable feelings and make sure you know your parents’ wishes in plenty of time before something happens. Discussing their end-of-life requests before they retire can raise these topics before they are overly worried about their own mortality, yet it will let them know you have their best interests at heart.

Try to bring up the topic in normal conversation, such as talking about someone who has recently put their end-of-life plans into effect. By talking about someone else first, it becomes much easier to casually approach the subject with your parents about their own affairs.

What Should You Talk About?

Some things that you will want to discuss with your parents include retirement finances, assisted living arrangements, and medical contact. You need to know where your parents have financial accounts, insurance policies, and other accounts including social media accounts so you can close these properly when the time comes. If your parents don’t have records of these accounts in one place, help them organize the information to make it easier for them to keep track of and for your own future information.

Ask your parents where they would like to live as they age. Do they want to live out their days in the family home with the help of a home health aide, or would they rather live in a retirement community where they can socialize with other elders and not worry about home upkeep? Review their financial situation to make sure their finances will support their wishes.

Also ask your parents about their medical information. Knowing how to contact their doctors or if they have a living will in place will help you in case of a medical emergency.

What Should You Do After the Talk?

Once you and your parents know how they would like to live out their days and you have all of their account information documented, make sure they put everything in writing and leave the information in a place where you can easily find it, such as a bank deposit box.

For help in preparing documents including wills, living wills, or power of attorney documents, contact an attorney for assistance. The experts at the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin are ready to help you make sure your parents are cared for according to their wishes during their final days. Call us at (516) 605-0625, or contact us through our online contact form to schedule an appointment today. For your convenience, we can meet at our office or in the comfort of your own home.

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