Estate Planning for Parents
If you belong to the “sandwich generation,” which includes people who are concurrently caring for their parents and children, you should find out if they have an estate plan. Having an estate plan, regardless of how late in life it is formed, is vital, even though it is still your parent’s option to do so.
You probably want to run as far away as you can from having a conversation with your parents about their finances and estate planning. However, having this discussion is essential to ensuring that your parents may enjoy their senior years free from financial stress and that their final wishes are honored.
One of the most crucial talks you can have with your parents is regarding the future, including their estate plans, financial situation, and final desires. And the sooner you take care of this, the better it will be for everyone.
Estate Planning Preparation
In order to ensure that your parents’ estate planning is in place, you should have the following important conversations with them:
A Team Approach:
If your parents work with legal and financial specialists, be careful to obtain a complete list of their contact information. In case decisions regarding your parents’ end-of-life are required, you should also have their doctors’ contact information.
Last Will and Testament and Trust:
If your parents don’t have an estate plan in place, they most certainly don’t have a will either. If they do have wills, be sure to find out who the executor will be, when they were written, and where the original documents are kept. Depending on the situation and goals of your parents, trust can also be appropriate. They should be made aware that while you do not need to understand the terms, you should be aware of their location so you may assist in ensuring that their wishes are carried out.
Make sure your parents have powers of attorney and living wills so that someone may make decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. Make sure you comprehend how each of them feels about decisions regarding life support and other end-of-life issues, as well as how their financial and medical affairs should be handled if they become incapacitated.
In the event that one or both of your parents become disabled, find out the insurance policies they have and where they are kept. This includes being knowledgeable about life insurance, homeowners, auto, disability insurance, long-term care coverage, and health insurance (private or Medicare).
Financial and Investment Accounts:
Your parents ought to think about making a list of their mutual fund, brokerage, and bank accounts, along with the account numbers. If someone needs to step in and help with financial affairs as a result of their death or disability, this will make things simpler.
The Importance of Estate Planning
Lack of an estate plan frequently results in disarray, extra expenditures and taxes, the possibility of damaged feelings, delays in the distribution of assets, and even unforeseen outcomes after death. The distribution of the asset is distorted, for instance, if your parents hold some assets in joint tenancy with a kid who lives nearby but excludes other children. When a joint tenancy is used as an estate planning instrument rather than a trust, the adult children who are left behind will be hurt by how the parents divide their assets.
We’re Ready to Assist
Do not let fear or discomfort keep you from sitting down and having this important estate-planning conversation with your parents. As estate planning attorneys, we can give you and your parents advice on what options are available to them so that their wishes are followed upon their death. Contact Hudack Law today at (877) 314-4309 Toll-free, please visit areas of service (open link in a new tab) or hudacklaw.com (open link in a new tab).