Having “that talk” is often a very difficult one to start.
First……….. who starts the conversation? The parents? The Children? Maybe it is a trusted advisor or attorney. Here are some possible “starter” discussions:
Is there an acknowledgement that a time will come to transfer decision-making and the management of day-to-day responsibilities to someone else. Who will this person be? Is it a single individual or are the responsibilities shared? Maybe one person handles financial, the other medical.
What are the “ground rules” and possible triggers that will affect a change in responsibilities? Will it be just bill paying, driving, living arrangements or medical as well?
Last, a more in-depth conversation on:
Financing future needs, including medical and long-term care needs (In-Home Care, Assisted Living, Memory Care or Skilled Nursing)
Selecting affordable and safe living arrangements
Setting up for the best possible medical care (Doctors, hospitals, physical therapy, etc)
End of life decisions.
We believe these steps are extremely important, but more so, do you have the proper legal documents to accomplish these goals?
*Powers of attorney: both Durable (or Financial) and Health. To give legal authority to accomplish both day to day tasks as well as more complex issues such as setting up a Trust, or revising a Trust.
*Advance Directive (or Living Will): Let those we love know how we want to handle feeding, hydration, pain relief and final resting place.
*Your Will: Giving clear direction as to how you want your property – real estate, cash assets, collectibles, family treasures divided based upon your wishes. If your distributions are more complex………. possibly a blended marriage, complex distributions, special needs children (or spouse), you may consider a revocable or irrevocable TRUST.
If you have any questions on basic Estate Planning, please contact us. There is never a charge for the initial consultation.
Rick Messemer, Community Liaison
Carolina Estate Counsel, Elder and Estate Law