Do you have parents currently still working and in good health? Do you often visit them in their home with your children? Does the interaction of your children with their grandparents bring back good memories of growing up in the home of your parents? Have you and your parents given any thought to what their future may be? This may be the time to start having conversations about what your parents want their future to look like.
As your parents age, will they need to retire? Also, what will their mobility and physical challenges be? Will there be a need for changing health care or financial providers and to even sell their home? As their child, what is the best way for you to support them? We often address issues like this in our practice and would like to share a few thought-provoking questions for you to ask your parents.
1. Do your parents have any immediate or long-term goals? In fact, you may be surprised that your parents have very definite goals for what they want now, and in the future. As you help direct the conversation, do not hesitate to include these conversation points:
• Do they plan to retire soon?
• Do they know whether they can afford their lifestyle when they no longer have a paycheck?
• Are they aware of any advancing health care needs that should be addressed now? What do they plan to do if one or both have a disability or need for skilled care? How would they pay for it?
• Have they purchased or are they planning to purchase long-term care insurance?
• Are they planning to live in their home as long as they can, or do they plan to relocate?
The answers to the above questions will help future conversations so that you and your parents can work together in helping them reach their goals.
2. Is it the goal of your parents to remain in their home and age in place? If their answer is yes, that means they would prefer to stay in their home and avoid skilled institutional care. However, talking to your parents now about their care in the future is critical. Do they have a plan in place? In fact, when it comes to aging in place, proactive planning is critical, and you can make a difference when you talk to your parents about this as soon as possible. The next question must be, have they met with an experienced Florida elder law attorney to address their needs?
3. To follow-up on the above question, do your parents have a relationship with a Florida estate planning and elder law attorney? Your aging parents need the representation that comes from working with an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney. (S)He can step in to ensure both their lifetime and end of life decisions can be met. Although your parents may not want to take this step, it is critical.
4. Now that you know your parents have an estate plan and a Florida estate planning attorney, does their estate planning reflect their current goals? You know that when they executed their estate plan they were able to protect their estate against probate and were able to select a healthcare decision maker in case of a crisis. Now, however, even more important is to be sure your parents are updating their estate plan so that it reflects their current wishes for both their legacy and their decision makers.
Planning for the future is critical to ensure that your immediate and future goals for your life are achieved. We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our estate planning law firm takes a very different approach from what you might have come to expect. Our goal is to create lifelong relationships with each of our clients, to guide and manage your legacy for the rest of your life. Please contact our offices in Stuart and in Palm City to learn more.