Posts Tagged ‘estate planning’

it’s time for the talk

Written on October 24th, 2013 by Jamesno shouts

I’ll begin this post by saying I have nothing to gain with this discussion, I’m a planner and don’t sell insurance.  With that said I have been around along enough in the industry and working with clients that I have seen the good, bad and ugly when it comes to facing our own mortality and care issues.

This post is for you, whether your age is 40 or 80.  Nobody likes to think about a time when they may need care, let alone their own death.  Guess what, at some point it is guaranteed, and by planning for it and communicating openly you can make life much easier for your family.

If you are in your 40′s or 50′s it is probably time to begin the discussion with Mom or Dad about what happens when they are either mentally or physically unable to care for themselves.  If you are in your 70′s or 80′s , it is time to open up with your family and share some insight into your finances and estate planning.  You need to make it known what your wishes are and make sure your kids understand.  We all like to consider ourselves invincible, especially us guys, I get it.  But it is important that your kids and your spouse can step in if something were to happen.  How many of you are control freaks like me and handle all the finances for the household?  What happens when you are knocked out of the picture and your spouse or kids have to step in?  Will it be total chaos or could they handle everything seamlessly?

I know it is a difficult topic to address, but think of the alternative: don’t have the discussion and get a call one day that your parent has suffered a stroke and will need constant care for the remainder of their life.  Contemplate that scenario for a moment and think about all the questions you would have:

  1. Are Mom/Dad’s finances such that they can cover the cost of home healthcare?
  2. Is Mom or Dad able to care for the other?
  3. Will I have to move Mom/Dad into my home?  Who will care for them while I work?
  4. Do they have a power of attorney that allows me to make medical / financial decisions for them?
  5. If I have a sibling, which one of us takes on this care and how do we equalize the cost?
  6. Does Mom/Dad have long term care insurance to help with the costs?
  7. Are their financial affairs in good order and can I find out easily where their accounts are?
  8. Is there a record of all their possessions, a Personal Inventory-Instructions list for Estate Plan?  What about online passwords to accounts?

So here is my challenge to you:  call a family meeting and begin the process of formulating a plan.  It is much easier to do this when everyone is healthy and not under duress.

One day everyone of us will experience the dreaded call, how will you handle it?