Are your parents aging and or already experiencing difficulties managing and preparing their finances for their future, including a future where they may no longer be in control?
Often times adult children find themselves in a situation where they are the primary caregivers of their aging parents. Unfortunately, many people are not prepared to take on this responsibility.
It is important to begin addressing elder care with your parents if you have not done so already, or addressing these things with your adult children if you are aging or already have declining health.
It is better to begin this process early on before a decline due to health or age related issues.
Arranging your parents’ finances by reviewing their assets, financial statements, estate planning documents, and passwords for their accounts is very important while they are still in good health, or before they further decline.
Be sure to work with your parent(s) to appoint a trusted family member who will be responsible for handling their bills to ensure they are not neglected.
Additionally, attending your parent’s health care provider appointments can help you to obtain a full understanding of their medical status, conditions, care, and prescription medications. You may also want to discuss elder care facilities while your parents are in good health to determine what their desires may be for future living arrangements if their health declines. Looking into different facilities to determine what is best suited and affordable for your family can be a lengthy process, so we recommend planning ahead and making modifications if needed down the road as facilities, resources, and the needs of your parents change.
It is very important to also consider executing a Durable Power of Attorney, which will appoint a family member to control your parents’ assets when they no longer have the capacity to do so. Having this in place early on along with appropriate estate planning documents can help eliminate potential delays when making decisions on their behalf.
It is important to be proactive when preparing a plan for your parents so that they are taken care of properly in the future and you are not left to start from scratch at the time you need to be implementing the plan.
Some additional resources on this topic can be found through Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (https://health.mo.gov) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (https://www.usaging.org).
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