As your parents age, it’s natural to have questions and concerns about their estate plan. And not because of the impact on you, but rather the fact that they could make a mistake or overlook a detail that causes them trouble.
Although every person is in a different situation in regard to estate planning, here are some details you may need to discuss with your elderly parents:
- Long-term care planning: As the years pass, there’s a greater chance that one or both of your parents will require some form of long-term care, such as at a nursing facility. Planning in advance is a must, as this allows for a seamless transition both personally and financially.
- Medicaid planning: This goes along with long-term care planning, but focuses heavily on the Medicaid system and how to obtain benefits in the future. For example, spending down now may increase your parents’ odds of obtaining this government benefit in the future.
- Advance health care directives: For example, a living will allows you to make key medical decisions now, so that your loved ones don’t have to do so on your behalf in the event of incapacity. If your parents don’t have a living will, the responsibility to make these decisions could fall on you, and that’s never easy. Urge your parents to use a living will to dictate the type of treatment and life-saving measures they want to receive, if necessary.
- Current state of their will and/or trust: There’s always a chance that your parents haven’t reviewed their will and/or trust in many years. But upon review, they may find that there are some details, such as naming a new trustee or executor, that are critical to the overall health of their estate plan.
Don’t become pushy or overbearing when discussing these estate planning details with your elderly parents. Instead, share your thoughts on each one, ask key questions, and most importantly, do your part in helping them understand their estate plan and legal rights in New York.
It’s a difficult conversation to have, but once you lay everything out on the table, you’re in better position to help your parents update their estate plan to best suit their current life and future happenings.