Call Us Today for a Free Consultation. (352) 379-1900

mom and daughter talking about end of life scenarios

Having difficult conversations with aging parents about end-of-life issues, including estate planning and medical decision-making, can be challenging yet crucial. These discussions, though awkward, are vital for ensuring a dignified and desired end-of-life experience for your parents.

Essential Components of a Good Estate Plan

A comprehensive estate plan should include:

  1. Will or Trust: A legal document that outlines how assets will be distributed after death.
  2. Designation of Health Care Surrogate: Someone who can make medical decisions if your parents are unable.
  3. Durable Power of Attorney: Authorizes someone to handle financial and legal matters.
  4. Living Will: Dictates preferences for end-of-life medical care.
  5. Pre-need Consent Against Exploitation: Protects against financial abuse.
  6. Pay on Death Deed: Allows real property to transfer directly upon death, potentially avoiding probate.

Ensure that all assets are accounted for, and contingency beneficiaries are named, particularly if there’s a risk of your parents passing together.

Regular Communication and Asset Management

It’s essential to have annual discussions with your parents about:

  • Their asset list and its locations.
  • Their financial advisors, attorneys, and primary financial managers.
  • Banking institutions they use.
  • Locations of account passwords (while maintaining utmost security).

This ensures you’re always updated and on the same page.

Technology for Monitoring and Safety

Apps like Carefull can be instrumental. As a trusted advisor, you can monitor your parents’ finances for unpaid bills or unusual transactions, often a first sign of exploitation. While these apps don’t give you authority over the money, they provide valuable alerts.

Professional Assistance and Family Involvement

Elder law attorneys, experienced in estate planning, can offer invaluable assistance. They typically meet with parents and their adult children separately to prevent undue influence, ensuring the plan reflects the parents’ true wishes. Regular updates to the estate plan, every 3-5 years, are advisable.

Conclusion By Shannon Miller, Founding Attorney

“As an elder law attorney working with many clients on estate planning, I love it when the families are involved. We always meet with parents and their adult children separately to make sure there is no undue influence and parents are creating a plan that meets their needs. Then we involve the family so everyone is in the loop. If you or your parents need assistance with any aspect of estate planning, including an update every 3-5 years, we are here to help. The conversations and planning you do now will ensure your parents have the end of life they want.” Contact us at 352.379.1900 if we can help you and your family.

Death & Dying | Talking To Your Parents Now Will Ensure They Have The End Of Life They Want