Parents are people. It’s a shock to learn that as a child, that your superhero is simply a person who is trying their best despite their flaws. The second shock comes much later when you realize that your parents are not immortal.
Slowly, the realization hits as they can’t roll with the new technology as easily as they used to, have trouble remembering things, or their health starts to decline. They won’t be here forever.
As they age, our parents will need more and more of our assistance. Part of their affairs that they need to get in order is their estate planning. Erin Lowry wrote an excellent article on this subject: Millennials, It’s Time To Talk Estate Planning With Your Parents.
Children are sometimes hesitant to raise this issue with their parents, out of fear that they might look as if they are trying to secure their inheritance, but the vast majority of children who assist their parents in this area are focused on ensuring that their parents are cared for well throughout their lives and to organize plans for what happens if a parent is no longer capable of making their own decisions. Sadly, some families leave it until the last minute and by the time they realize that their parents need help with estate planning, they no longer have the capacity to give consent.
Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Representation Agreements are three important parts of an overall estate plan which can be tailor-made to the needs of each specific client and their family.
Our firm also offers Elder Mediation, which can assist families in having fruitful discussions together to come up with a plan when one generation is aging. Sometimes it is the adult children dragging reluctant parents along, but it is often the parents who are looking for a way to settle matters between squabbling children so that they know that the family will keep the peace when the parents can no longer plan the role of peacemaker.