Ten Things You Must Think About

Sometimes we feel our parents will live forever. This is especially true as our parents grow older, yet still retain their health. It makes it easier to put off those conversations with them about the future and difficulties that may arise. However, having these discussions will ensure that your parents have input into their future care while they are still able to do so. This will also allow you to know you are following their wishes when health or other problems crop up.

Below is a list of ten items that parents and children should talk about now to avoid any indecision in the future.

  1. How are they going to keep vigorous and busy in their retirement years? Good things to think about are hobbies and other activities that they enjoy. There is the option to volunteer as a means to stay active and meet new people. They also may like to learn some new technology in order to keep up with friends and family via email and social media.
  2. If they don’t have a will it might be a good idea to have one drawn up. This is the only way to ensure that loved ones receive the benefits they have coming to them. If there is no will in place the Rules of Intestacy apply and could end up costing the beneficiaries property they may have been meant to have or they might end up paying undue taxes.
  3. In addition to a traditional will, a Living Will or Advanced Directive can be helpful when a parent is no longer able to communicate regarding their health care. This takes the burden and possible guilt away from the child since they are only following their parent’s directives.
  4. The question should be asked whether they would like to make a trust. This can be done in your parent’s lifetime or through a will. There are different types of trusts and would need to be researched individually if a parent were interested in making one. Two such trusts are; Life Insurance Trust and Discretionary Trust.
  5. A Power of Attorney enables a parent to give power to a child or other person to look after their affairs if a time comes when they cannot. In addition to a health and welfare power of attorney there is also a financial power of attorney form.
  6. If a parent has a significant disability they could be registered as disabled who would be allowed for certain benefits. Benefits may include access to facilities such as disabled rest areas, parking and perhaps equipment to help them get around easier.
  7. Is the home safe? This discussion might include home security, smoke detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors, fraying carpets or other potential hazards.
  8. It is also important to discuss their preference in care options as they get older. They may want to remain in their home as long as possible and in that case a home care worker or volunteer might be an option. However, if this becomes impractical what would their preferences be? If they choose to live with a child or someone else then that person or family has to be involved in whether the solution is viable.
  9. The consideration must be discussed regarding funding for care. There are options such as saving for future care or investing in some form.
  10. And last, funeral wishes should be discussed. Though not a topic that families like to have it is necessary to avoid problems. Advance directive may help with this.

While some of these topics may be uncomfortable to discuss, it is wise to get them out of the way so that parents and children can enjoy life without worrying what the future may bring.