Estate Planning for your Parent or Other Loved One

Addressing incapacity and end of life planning issues with family members is not easy. It can be even more “touchy” when you are attempting to convince a parent or other loved one that estate planning is needed. Regardless, you want to be sure that the proper mechanisms are in place at death and in the event that your loved one becomes mentally and/or physically incapacitated.

The conversation with your parent or other loved one can be structured around 3 important appointments that should be made:

  1. Attorney in Fact;
  2. Healthcare Power of Attorney (Health Care Agent); and
  3. Executor/Trustee.

Each of these appointments will be made within a separate document. The terms contained in each document are important and much care should be used when preparing the documents.

The person to be appointed to carry out the objectives will depend on your loved one’s particular situation.

The Reluctant Parent

Your parent may not be ready to discuss end of life issues. It is not unusual for elderly persons to be more secretive about assets and property.

If your Parent is unwilling, you may want to broach the subject by asking for advice for your own estate planning. This may open the door to a discussion about your parent’s plan or lack of a plan.

Another option is to ask where the important documents are kept. So that there is no confusion, it would be a good idea to see the paperwork. Hopefully, this will be a way to get the ball rolling.

Sometimes, the reluctance is due to dementia or other physiological ailments. However, many parents of the “Baby Boomers” lived through the depression. As a result, they may be frugal to a fault and distrustful of financial institutions. It may be quite difficult for this person to open up.

For more on estate planning, download our “The Talk for Estate Planning – A Framework”.