As many parents age, they begin to face some difficult decisions regarding what to tell their children about their estate plan. Often, aging parents are reluctant to provide an estimate of their net worth to their adult children. Normally, parents either do not want to worry their offspring or do not wish for them to alter their lifestyle based upon an anticipated inheritance. Additionally, which children are financially responsible and which are not begins to become increasingly important.
Unfortunately, this means parents often fail to discuss their long term care or estate plan with their loved ones prior to incapacitation or death. Although you do not need to discuss your financial health directly with your children, you should discuss the following information with your loved ones before it becomes too late.
First, it is important to notify your children who you have selected to be the executor of your estate. The executor will be responsible for the orderly administration of your assets. It is important to notify a would-be executor ahead of time because sometimes children and others do not wish to take on such a responsibility, particularly immediately after losing a parent. A future executor should also be made aware of the name of your attorney and where your will, trust documents, and any other important documents are stored.
Next, a parent should discuss their long term care plans with their kids. Although some people have nursing home insurance and other assets to fund their care in the event of disability or incapacity, others do not. Parents who assume they will live with or be cared for by one of their children especially need to begin a long term care plan dialogue. Although a parent may believe they will eventually move in with a particular child, your offspring may have discussed different ideas. Even worse, children may not have considered the issue at all.
All aging parents ought to create an advanced health care directive or living will that outlines exactly what medical measures should and should not be taken if they become unable to communicate. Additionally, parents should make their wishes clear to their children who otherwise may find themselves with more questions than answers in the event of parental incapacitation. By providing children with information about your advanced health care directive, you can better prepare them to handle difficult end of life decisions in accordance with your wishes.
Finally, it is important for parents to make it clear to their loved ones where all of their assets are located. Families should know where to find collectibles, bank accounts, jewelry, and other items in addition to your will or trust documents. By using a computer program, you have the ability to collect all documentation in one easily accessible location. Doing so may make sorting through valuables faster and avoid struggles between children or other heirs following your death.
The experienced attorneys at Estate Law Partners, LLC, can assist you with creating a comprehensive estate plan that will make your wishes known in times of incapacity and upon death. We invite you to request a consultation with one of our estate planning attorneys.