It’s time to have that talk with your parents! No, not about a nursing home, mom, or, dad, you should think of selling the car. This talk is about estate planning for parents, something your parents and possibly even you have not yet considered. If you bring up the subject, don’t be surprised to get this reaction: “Me? Don’t be silly; estate planning is only for rich people!”
Wrong, dad; incorrect, mom. Estate planning may be for the rich, but not “only.” Estate planning is for anyone who has property – in the form of a home or anything valuable to them – and wants that property or pieces of it to go to designated people. That is what estate planning is all about, making sure the things you own go to the people you name.
You can also tell your parents that they can benefit from estate planning in additional ways. Property can be transferred to the named party or parties with minimum taxes and few legal problems. They can write their own medical care instructions to be carried out if they are unable to care for themselves.
The main focus of estate planning is the living will or living trust. The living will covers what treatment should or should not be administered to someone who is ill and not expected to recover. It would not take effect if one of your parents became temporarily unconscious from an illness or injury but was expected to recover.
A living trust transfers property ownership to a designated name or names. As long as the original owner lives, he or she controls the property and can rescind the trust any time. What the living trust really does is avoid the costs of probate court. Most wills go through probate, the process by which courts monitor the assets of a decedent. This can sometimes involve lots of time and money.
The health care proxy is another important part of estate planning for parents. Your mother and father would be advised to select a person, such as a family member or friend, whom they trust to carry out any personal health decisions in case they become unable to do so for themselves.
It’s time to have that estate planning for parents talk. Then it’s time to contact the law offices of Mindy Felinton. We are experienced estate planners and we can guide your parents through the entire process and develop a plan that is suited for you and them.