Estate planning is an important consideration for elderly parents, as it helps to ensure their wishes are honored and their assets are protected in the event of their passing. As an adult child, you can play a critical role in helping your parents plan for the future. Here’s a guide to help you get started.
- Understanding your parents’ wishes: Before you begin the estate planning process, it is important to have a clear understanding of your parents’ goals and wishes. This can include decisions about how their assets will be distributed, who will be appointed as their financial and medical power of attorney, and any funeral arrangements they prefer.
- Identifying assets and liabilities: The next step is to gather information about your parents’ assets and liabilities, including property, investments, digital assets such as website accounts and digital passwords, insurance policies, and debts. This will help you determine the value of their estate and the best way to distribute their assets.
- Creating a will: A will is a legal document that outlines how a person’s assets will be distributed after they pass away. It is important for your parents to have a will in place to ensure that their wishes are honored and their assets are distributed according to their wishes. Also, if they have any minor children they can nominate a guardian for them in their will. With Gentreo, you can easily and affordably create a legally binding will with your parents from the comfort of home – no lawyers needed!
- Naming powers of attorney: A power of attorney is a person designated to make financial and medical decisions on behalf of your parents if they become unable to do so themselves. It is important for your parents to choose someone they trust and to discuss their wishes with that person. Gentreo’s power of attorney for finances allows your parents to give someone specific authorities or set specific dates when the document can be used.
- Discussing end-of-life care: Your parents should also consider their end-of-life care, including decisions about life support and medical treatments. It is important for them to discuss their wishes with their doctor and to put them in writing so that their wishes are honored. Once you have this completed, be sure to upload it into your digital vault and share it with those your parents choose so that everyone knows where to turn in the event of an emergency.
- Considering long-term care planning: As your parents age, they may require long-term care, such as assisted living or a nursing home. It is important for them to consider the costs associated with long-term care and to plan for it in their estate plan.
- Keeping estate planning documents up-to-date: Estate planning documents should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that they reflect your parents’ current wishes and assets.
- Make sure your parents can make legal decisions: Just because you want your parents to create legal documents, doesn’t mean that they can. To create a document that is legal, your parents need to have the mental capacity to make legal decisions and not be forced into doing so. If there is any question as to whether your parents can make independent and competent decision, consider asking their physician to write a letter of capacity. For more information about ensuring validity and competence, click here.
Next, follow the step-by-step guides to learn about what documents you want to create. From there, simply follow the surveys and answer the questions on behalf of your loved one. Remember that these should be THEIR answers and that they should be the ones to make the decisions for their estate. There are helpful hints along the way and if you get stuck, feel free to schedule a free meeting with a Gentreo technical coach who can walk you through how to use Gentreo. Remember that we are not a law firm and do not give legal advice, but we can refer you to a partner attorney if needed. Once the survey is done, you can download and print a PDF of your parent’s documents. This will include the step-by-step instructions on how to make it legal or get it executed in your state. Most of the time this includes having your parents sign the documents in front of witnesses and/or a notary based on the laws of your state.
Once your documents are created, make sure to upload those documents into their digital vault and share it with those they choose. That way, whether their children live hours away or next door they will have access to the information they choose when an emergency occurs. When they share information with people in their circle, the person they invite can create a free Gentreo team membership to make sure that all information is stored and shared securely. Gentreo does not share or sell that information with anyone.
Estate planning is a perfect example of the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The time that you and your parents spend now to get organized and prepared can save you and your family stress, time, and thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Estate planning for elderly parents is an important process that should not be overlooked. As an adult child, you can play a critical role in helping your parents plan for the future by understanding their wishes then making sure the proper documents are completed to ensure that those wishes are fulfilled. Wills, Powers of Attorney and other estate planning documents explaining their wishes for long term care will help make certain those plans are completed. Finally, keeping the estate planning documents up-to-date is a crucial but often overlooked step to fulfill.
Don’t wait until it’s too late; start your estate planning journey with Gentreo today. By doing so, you’ll not only protect your loved ones but also gain the peace of mind that comes with knowing your legacy is secure. Click here to join now https://private.gentreo.com/auth/register.