Answer: There are three key issues that you want to focus on when discussing elder or senior law issues with elderly parents. The three areas are 1) financial decision making, 2) medical decision making, and 3) estate planning.
Financial Decision Making. In this disucssion you should get your parents to consider who would be given the authority to take care of their finances if they were no longer capable of doing so. This would typically include bill paying and investment decisions.
Medical Decisions Making. Be sure to have your parents consider giving this power to one another and to one or more substitutes so that decisions can be made when they are no longer able to.
Estate Planning.Your elderly parents should have up to date estate planning documents (including will and in some cases trusts) which clearly state their wishes as to what should happen with their assets upon death. These should also be coordinated with the beneficiary designations on life insurance, IRA's, and other assets.
Lastly, proper estate planning documents can minimize taxes and the probate process, which ultimately will save significant amounts of time, money, and frustration.
Please contact David M. Frees, III at [email protected] or call us at 888-573-7407 regarding your elder law questions.