Talk to your parents

The possibility that your parents may become unable to take care of themselves one day is not a pleasant thought, but it’s vital to discuss it now so that you can help them carry out their wishes.

Talk to your parents

The possibility that your parents may become unable to take care of themselves one day is not a pleasant thought, but it’s vital to discuss it now so that you can help them carry out their wishes.

Source: Iona Monton – http://mymoney.iafrica.com

It is not a pleasant task dealing with the possibility that your parents may become unable to take care of themselves one day. However, avoiding the subject could cause even more discomfort and heartache down the road. It is vital to find out how your parents feel about the subject so that you can help them carry out their wishes.

Sometimes it takes an unfortunate accident or an emergency before we are forced to consider the options. This conversation should take place when your parents are still fit and healthy. Not only is the decision process clearer, but the discussion is also not clouded by emotion.

Look for an opening to raise the topic. Often if you relate a third-party story, it can lead them into raising their own concerns. Your conversation is more likely to be productive if your parents don’t feel threatened. You may want to deal with one parent at a time, you could ask your mother if she has thought about what might happen if your father dies and she can’t live in the house by herself. You need a quiet place and their full attention when you discuss the matter.

There are many elements to consider and it is better to deal with one issue at a time. The conversation will invariably stray to cover all the issues over a period of time. It’s an ongoing process not a single conversation you’d never be able to cover everything in one go. Don’t push too hard, or try to accomplish tasks before your parents are ready. Let them know that your concern is out of love and an interest in their wellbeing. Maintaining your relationship with your parents is too important to put at risk.

Be tactful
It is impossible to carry out their wishes when you have no clue about what they want, or where they keep key documents. What if they become ill or incapacitated and you become responsible for their medical care and financial decisions? These are emotional issues, but they have to be addressed. Make sure you don’t start off the conversation by saying “So dad lets talk about my inheritance”. Tact is vital.

A good way to start is to bring up the subject of estate planning in the context of your own estate planning. Ask your parents if they have the relevant documents in place to ensure their wishes be carried out in the event of their deaths. The most important documents are their wills, trust documents share certificates bank accounts and living wills. A living will describes what, if any, life prolonging medical procedures should be used in case of serious injury.

Ask your parents about getting help if they can’t do everything on their own. Are they willing to hand over chores like bill paying or house maintenance to anyone else? Ask them if they have any plans about moving into a retirement village, or if they intend staying in their own home.

And if you find out that they are leaving all their money to the cat, well at least it will give you an incentive to start concentrating on your own financial wellbeing.

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