Speaking to your New York loved ones about their estate plan is difficult but essential. As challenging as it is, the day will come when parents are no longer there or aren’t able to communicate their desires. Missing out on this conversation causes stress and anxiety, while a practical discussion regarding end-of-life planning provides a template for proceeding under devastating circumstances.
Prior to speaking with your parents, it makes sense to acquaint yourself with the documents that are necessary parts of estate planning. Among these is the durable power of attorney, a document that grants authority to an agent to act on the elderly person’s behalf for financial and personal decisions. Among the considerations with this document is who the agent should be. The ideal candidate is trustworthy, detail oriented and not dealing with financial difficulties of their own.
Another document to consider is the healthcare power of attorney. This document speaks for the elderly person with regard to the making by the agent of medical decisions when the patient is not able to do so. While discussing these documents, consider also mentioning a living will.
Additionally, be prepared to discuss whether or not your parents have a last will and testament and if it is up to date.
Tips for a successful estate planning discussion
Here are some tips to consider when talking to your parents about estate planning:
-Invite all interested parties – All of your parents’ children and other loved ones may be involved in estate planning. Do not exclude anyone as this may minimize disagreements down the road.
-Find an appropriate time – Consider choosing a neutral date rather than a holiday or special occasion.
-Make a list – Prepare a to-do list in advance so that no topics are overlooked.
-Ask about current estate planning – What measures have your parents already put into place? Do they need to be updated?
If your parents have not considered preparing an estate plan, this may be an appropriate time to offer your help and support for everyone’s peace of mind.