As parents age, they will require help.
It is inevitable.
People get older.
As this happens, their health begins to decline.
Declining health means an increased need for help.
According to a recent Fox Business article titled “Aging parents are the new ‘children,’” adult children are more often than not providing this care for their parents.
For some, issues are primarily physical.
Others decline mentally with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Some are affected by both equally.
If you are an adult child, who is or will be providing care for your aging parents, then you should plan ahead to set yourself up for success.
Talk as a family.
Sit down with your parents while they are still healthy to discuss their aging and their wishes.
Your parents should know the level of autonomy they would like to keep.
They will also need to discuss health care wishes with you, as well as the state of their finances.
Gather and create necessary documents.
Do your parents have an estate plan?
This should include an advance health care directive, a general durable power of attorney (for financial matters), a last will and testament, and, perhaps, a funded revocable living trust.
While you are at it, make sure you have a handle on their medical history.
Assess financial need.
Caretaking is expensive.
It takes time, money, and sacrifice.
Your parents should have a plan for paying for care.
Long-term care insurance may be a viable option.
In the end, you and your siblings may need to step up and share the costs.
Health can decline quickly.
Check on your parents regularly and note any signs of needing help.
If they require greater help than you can provide, help arrange for assistance.
You cannot stop aging, but you and your folks can prepare to face it together by planning ahead.
Be very careful how you take care of your aging parents.
Your own children are watching.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Fox Business (May 25, 2018) “Aging parents are the new ‘children’”