How to Talk to Aging Parents About the Importance of Writing a Will

Writing a will is an important part of planning for the future. It provides a guide for a family when your someone passes away. Besides ensuring that your loved ones are taken care of, a will also helps you protect your parents’ assets. A will can be simple or complex, depending on your needs.

Creating a durable power of attorney

You may find it difficult to talk about creating a durable power of attorney for aging parents. It is important to understand their wishes and preferences. It is also important to remember that strong emotions can cloud your judgment and prevent you from being reasonable in your decision making. When talking with your parents about a POA, consider their wishes, health, and geographical location. Your parents’ religious beliefs and personal beliefs may also play a role in the decision-making process.

While talking to your aging parents about writing a will, don’t forget to mention important documents, like the living will and health care proxy. These documents will allow you to make decisions for them even if they become incapable of making them. For example, the person you designate can make decisions regarding investments or sell your parents’ house. This will help avoid the need for a lengthy and expensive court process.

Creating a plan for medical care

As your parents get older, it is important to consider their healthcare needs. One way to make sure their wishes are followed is to create a healthcare power of attorney, or HPA. This legal document allows the person creating it to speak for their aging parent when they are no longer able to. If your parents cannot communicate, this document will help their family understand their medical preferences and make them understand why they want certain treatment.

While aging parents may need help handling their finances, they may also be thinking about their end-of-life treatments. Even if your parents have an Advanced Health Care Directive or Power of Attorney in place, these documents may not reflect their current wishes. To avoid this problem, it is a good idea to review these documents and update them to reflect your parents’ current situation.

Creating a will

When your aging parents are no longer able to make their own decisions, it is important to discuss the topic of wills and estate planning with them. Often, they do not have a will and are unsure of how to go about formalizing their wishes. By discussing these matters with your parents, you can help them form their wishes. For example, they may want to leave money to a church or non-profit organization, or they may wish to establish a trust for their grandchildren’s college education. Whatever your parents want, they will want to know who to trust to carry out their plans.

If you’re unsure how to start the conversation, enlist the help of an estate planning attorney. He or she can facilitate the conversation by recommending topics for discussion. Goodman suggests that you focus on your parents’ core values, which should serve as a guide to future decisions. Moreover, you should never wait until your parents are too weak to make decisions for themselves. If you wait too long, many important decisions will be too late.

Bringing up the topic of death with aging parents

Bringing up the topic of death with aging parents can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it is important. By letting them tell you what they want you to do after they die, can give them peace of mind. They’ll know you care about their wishes and that their wishes will be followed. They will be grateful for you having brought up the topic.

Another important topic to discuss is the final living arrangements. You may want to bring up the possibility of moving them into an assisted living center or retirement home. Or maybe you can talk about whether they would prefer to die in their home, at a hospice, or at a hospital. You can also talk about the donation of organs and other last wishes.

If you need assistance helping your parents write a will give the experts at Orbit Wills a call.

Published 11/02/2022.