Having Difficult Conversations with Parents on End of Life

Having Difficult Conversations with Parents on End of Life

If you have aging parents, you know there are some difficult and emotional discussions you must have with them. You do not want to upset them, but planning for the inevitable is essential!

In this blog, Elder Law & Estate Planning Attorney, Mindy Felinton, will provide you with several tools to help ensure that this conversation goes smoothly.

Tool #1: Set a Time, Date & Place for the Discussion

Since this discussion can be nerve-wracking, it is important to set a comfortable time, date, and place for this event to occur. This will help support an open-minded and honest discussion throughout this process.

Tool #2: Identify Key People

You will want to document key people involved in the end-of-life process for  your parents. This includes any doctors, lawyers, financial planners, closest friends, and any spiritual leaders that may be involved.

Tool #3: Ask About a Will for Trust and Power of Attorney

You will want to find out from your parents if they have a will or trust and if it is up to date. You will also want to find out where those documents are kept and who they have appointed as an “Executor” or “Administrator”. Additionally, identify if there is a Power of Attorney in play. Do your parents have someone who will manage their financial affairs if they become incapacitated?

Tool #4: Discuss End of Life Wishes

Do your parents have a Health Care Proxy and an Advanced Directive? A Health Care Proxy allows a defined individual to make medical decisions for your parents if they cannot do so themselves. An Advance Directive lays out treatments that you parents want and do not want to prolong life. You will also need any HIPPA forms. These are all essential documents that you will want to put in place.

Tool #5: Ask About Insurance Policies

Identify what insurance policies like Home, Health, Life., Long-term Care and Disability that you parents have in place. Clearly notate any contact information, policy numbers and other relevant documents that are necessary.

Tool #6: Get Access to Tax Returns, Bank Accounts & Any Other Accounts

It’s important to get access to any tax returns, bank accounts and any other assets that your parents may hold. Clearly notate what companies hold these accounts, along with any contact information and account numbers.

Tool #7: Cremation? Burial Services? Organ Donations?

As hard as this discussion may be, you want to have an open conversation about funeral services with your parents. Do they want a Cremation? A Burial? Are they an Organ Donor? Do they want to be?

Tool #8: Contact an Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney like Mindy Felinton

If handled on your own, this can be an extremely stressful process with risks of leaving out details. With over 35 years of experience in Estate Planning & Elder Law, Mindy Felinton is the right choice.

By planning, Mindy will help you make sure all of your parent’s affairs are in place and give you and your family peace of mind. To get in contact with her team, give them a call at (301) 610-0055 or (561) 290-2179 to schedule an appointment.