While it may be difficult to discuss estate planning with your aging parents, it’s something that is necessary. They count on you for support, encouragement, and help in living out their senior years to the fullest.
They may also be counting on you to handle their affairs should they pass away or become incapable of handling responsibilities on their own.
Here are some tips to get started on how to help your senior loved one with estate planning:
Sometimes, elderly parents may not want to discuss estate planning for fear they may lose control or feel embarrassed that they may not be as capable in handling their financial business like they used to. So first and foremost, approach estate planning with your elderly parent sensitively and assure them that you are there to help them.
Gather Financial Information
Stay organized and keep all financial information in one place for easy access. If your parent needs a consultation with his or her financial advisor, offer to attend the meeting. Being present can provide you with a snapshot of their financial situation. This will help you assess if what they have is adequate to support their needs and lifestyle. It can also help determine if any adjustments need to be made.
Here is a list of other things you will need:
- Collect contact information of financial advisors.
- Review beneficiaries on investment documents to ensure they are correct and up to date.
- Gather recurring bills and accounts that need to be paid. If not already in place, set up online bill pay for a smooth payment process.
- Examine social security benefits
Gather and review all insurance policies (life, and long-term care, homeowners, auto, etc.) for adequate coverage and update as needed.
Wills and Estate Plans
Wills and Estate Plans are a critical piece to ensuring that your loved one’s wishes are granted after they pass on. Give them peace of mind and let them know everything will be taken care of in the event of their death. Review the following with your loved one:
- Find out if there is an existing will or estate plan in place.
- If there is a will in place, is it current and does it have the correct beneficiaries?
- If there is no will, consult an estate attorney to help draw up a will to help protect your parent’s estate should they pass on.
Current Housing Situation
Are your parent’s living arrangements conducive to their current mental and physical health situation? If they are ill, immobile, or have trouble fending for themselves on their own, you may want to find out the answers to these questions:
- What is the condition of your parent’s home?
- Does the home need updates or modifications that will meet their physical needs?
- Are the upgrades that need to be made affordable and how will it be paid?
The Arbors Assisted Living is a community that fosters a supportive and compassionate environment for the elderly. Should you have a parent or loved one that may benefit from an assisted living community environment, contact us today to learn more.