Sooner or later, it happens in almost every family: Your parents are aging, and developing a few health issues. You’d like to be able to assist them, should worse come to worst. Still you’ve been putting off having “that talk” – the one when they share some of their personal financial information with you.
What if “worst” actually does happen? For example, what if your parent who is handling most of the finances becomes sick or injured, and cannot communicate with you or their spouse? What if prolonged care will be needed? Who will pay for it? What are their preferences? What are yours?
What will you do to help your elderly parents?
A few, relatively basic conversations and simple steps today can prevent all sorts of unnecessary angst and anxiety in the future. We’ve offered some ideas on this before, mostly from your parents’ perspective, but this is about you, too.
Basic topics of conversation include:
- Are your parents’ estate plans in place, up to date, and easily accessible?
- Are advance directives and healthcare powers of attorney in place, with dependable agents listed, such as you or other siblings? These legal documents help ensure healthcare decisions can be made according to your parents’ wishes, come what may.
- What about property powers of attorney? Once your parents pass, their estate plans will determine what happens to their worldly goods. But it’s worth ensuring someone trustworthy is named to safeguard their assets if they are alive, but cannot personally manage their financial affairs.
- How about long-term care (LTC)? Do your parents have LTC insurance? Or are they eligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) LTC and disability benefits? Unless there is enough family wealth to self-insure any long-term care needs, it’s a good idea to have one or the other in place.
If you’re not sure where to begin, consider collaborating with a financial advisor and an elder law attorney. Together, they can bring clarity to what can otherwise be an emotionally charged situation.
- A financial advisor can help you quantify your financial risks and available resources, minimizing the odds a family crisis will generate inordinate financial distress.
- An eldercare attorney can ensure your parents’ legal directives are in order, so you’re not left trying to guess what they might have preferred.
At Cogent Strategic Wealth, we’ve helped others have these vital conversations with their loved ones. We’ve experienced the same ourselves, helping our own family members through challenging health situations. We can tell you from personal experience: Being proactive, and talking about things before a crisis arises is highly recommended. It leaves you the practical and emotional space to focus solely on your loved one during troubled times.
Contact us to see how a financial plan can help you prepare for whatever the future has in store, while potentially bringing you and your family closer together today. We’ll listen to what’s most important to you, build a plan tailored to you and yours, and help you execute that plan every step of the way.
You don’t have to manage your family’s financial future all by yourself. Book your Cogent Conversation today!