Protect Our Parents
Normally parents have taken the steps necessary to protect themselves through their own Estate Plan. However, sometimes for various reasons they have been unable or unwilling to do this. Perhaps they are in bad health or have suffered through their own financial issues.
Whatever the reason, they brought us into this life and raised us, and we have the opportunity to help them as they approach their remaining years.
Outside of Estate Planning, of course, this includes a variety of family, senior care and health care matters. Within the realm of Estate Planning, this can include the following:
Health Care Authority. If your parents become unable to handle their own health care decisions, this normally needs to be handled by their adult children. By having a health care power of attorney / directive signed in advance while they are healthy and able, this provides the legal authority for hospitals, physicians and other health care providers to be able to receive directions from you and to be able to share medical information with you.
Financial Authority. If your parents are unable to handle their own financial matters, a financial power of attorney which appoints you to handle their financial matters provides the necessary legal authority for you to collect their income, pay their expenses and manage their investment accounts.
Often it may be uncomfortable to ask your parents whether they have placed their Estate Planning affairs in order. My suggestion to my clients is that a great time to ask this question is right after you have executed your own Estate Plan. Let them know that you have taken care of this for your children. And offer to let them know you are willing to serve in a financial or health care capacity under their Estate Plans. This can provide a welcome assurance to them.
Financial Support. If your parents need extra financial support and you are in a position to provide it, your own Estate Plan can include an allocation (typically made in your Revocable Living Trust or in a separate Trust for your parents' benefit). This enables you to provide financial support to them both while you are alive as well as upon their death in case you should unexpectedly pre-decease them.
Their Estate. Upon you parents' deaths, their remaining properties need to be distributed according to their wishes. If they have not signed their own Wills and Revocable Living Trusts, then this becomes more difficult for you (and your siblings) to handle their estate and also to avoid potential disputes.
Protecting Our Family:
Download Estate Plan Appointment Booklet
Other Features and Protections
A variety of other features and protections can be included as part of your Estate Plan to provide financial support and protections for your parents, both while you are alive and following your deaths.
For more information, go to the Learn More section of this website.