ARTICLE: Your Senior Parents and Estate Planning

Your Senior Parents and Estate Planning

With the holiday season behind us, you may be pondering whether you observed a decrease in your aging parents’ physical or mental abilities during your time with them. It might be time for a conversation about ensuring they have a comprehensive estate plan that reflects all their wishes and provides guidelines for any decisions that may need to be made on their behalf.

If they already have an estate plan, ask if you can talk about it. If they don’t yet have an estate plan, use these questions can help initiate a discussion and illustrate the importance of creating one.

If you become incapacitated and can’t speak for yourself, who should take care of your medical decisions and finances?
A healthcare power of attorney, also know as a healthcare proxy, allows you to appoint an individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so. Meanwhile, with a financial power of attorney, you can choose someone to handle your financial affairs and settle your accounts if you are not able to do so yourself. With both, you are choosing the person to support you in your time of need.

What are your thoughts and feelings about medical decisions?
Having a healthcare directive allows you to express your wishes pertaining to medical care balancing quality of life and medical intervention. For instance, you can express your opinions in regard to comfort-oriented care versus treatment.

What do you want to happen to your remains when you pass away?
Have you purchased a burial site? If not, where do you want to be laid to rest? Or would you prefer to be cremated or explore another option? How should I handle your remains?

Have you made a list of all your assets?
An estate planning lawyer will need a complete list of all property and assets as the primary step toward creating an estate plan.

Would you want to donate to charity?
If you have a favorite charitable organization, you can include it as a beneficiary in your will or trust.

Do you want to consider a pet trust to provide for your pets?
A pet trust gives you the chance to establish pet care guidelines, select a trustee and a caretaker, and provide the financial resources needed to provide for your pet’s well-being.

Have you got a list of any passwords that will be needed to access your online accounts?
Although steps can be taken to attain account credentials, having the usernames and passwords listed in your estate plan documents makes accessing your digital accounts a much simpler process.

When you pass away, who do you want to appoint as your executor or trustee?
Depending on the type of estate plan you create, you can appoint someone you trust as either an executor or a trustee to administer your estate. They will have the authority and responsibility to carry out your wishes when you are gone.

Would you like help finding an estate planning attorney?
There are various resources you can consult for a referral, such as family members, friends, or financial professionals you already work with. Ask around for recommendations and testimonials and make a list of potential options.

Work with an Experienced Corning Estate Planning Attorney.
Start the conversation while your parents are in good health. It might be hard, but we believe this is a critical step in life that is worth taking. An estate planning attorney can not only draft the necessary documents, but they can also assist your family with navigating through the conversation. Call Roth Elder Law, PLLC today to schedule an initial meeting at 607-962-6162 or complete this intake form and we’ll be in touch.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.