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Talking to your parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Estate Planning |

No one ever wants to think about, or plan for, a time when their parents are no longer with them. It’s often too painful to think about and it’s hard to watch them get older. 

If your parents have started to talk to you about their will or what to do with their house or possessions after they pass away, they might need your help with planning their estate. How do you do that? 

Ask them what they want to happen 

The first thing to do is to have a conversation with your parents about what they want to happen to their estate after they pass away. Do they already have a will? If so, where is it? This is the only way to properly understand what possessions they have and where they want them to go. This is particularly important if they have assets you weren’t previously aware of. 

Talk about appointing a power of attorney  

A power of attorney is something that can be arranged at any point in time as it doesn’t need to come into effect until it is needed. It’s actually, therefore, a good idea to do this as early on as possible. This ensures that your parents are making the right decision for them as to who they want and trust with this responsibility. 

You do not have to take on this responsibility. It should be something you feel like you can and want to do because it can be a difficult position to hold. There are two different kinds of power of attorney, one to deal with health and welfare and another appointed to handle property and finances. 

Think about housing options 

Thinking about senior living facilities is important even if your parents are currently living independently.  Discussing options for nursing homes, assisted living and in-home care for the time when one, or both, parents needs full-time care can feel premature. Having this conversation, however, helps you to know what to do for the best when the time comes to make those decisions. 

Getting some legal help can assist both you and your parents in planning their estate. It offers you all peace of mind that everything is in place for their wishes to be met.