Talking to Your Family About Aging and Incapacity
The next time you have a family gathering, one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your family is to engage everyone in an honest and open discussion about aging and disability planning. Many adult children and their parents think about the potential for incapacity, but the majority of them never bring up the matter with each other.
Top of the list of worries are money, financial management and health care decisions:
- YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
One of the biggest worries for parents and their children is money. Parents and children each worry about whether the parents will have enough money so they can enjoy their retirement and, if necessary, pay the costs of long term care. Maybe this is a conversation you also want to have with a financial planner to make sure you have covered all the bases. A family discussion about this matter can take the fear and emotion out of this topic for both parents and children.
- WHO WILL HANDLE YOUR FINANCES IF YOU BECOME ILL?
Decide who you want as your agent to handle your finances if you are incapacitated and how you want your finances managed, When you have made these decisions, share this information with your loved ones. And, seek out an experienced elder law attorney who can prepare a Durable Power of Attorney, a document that will specify your wishes and can be used by your agent for bill paying, managing your retirement and insurance benefits, and anything else that may be necessary.
- WHO DO YOU WANT TO HELP YOU MAKE MEDICAL DECISIONS AND WHAT TYPES OF LIFE SUPPORT DO YOU WANT IF YOU ARE SERIOUSLY ILL?
Discuss these matters with your loved ones and put them in writing in an Advance Directive for Health Care. This document names the person you want to make and communicate your wishes and addresses your choices concerning what type of medical intervention and life support you want if you are seriously ill.
Make this discussion a family affair. Get everyone in on the conversation and on board with your wishes. By openly discussing and sharing your thoughts and concerns with your family, both you and your loved ones can learn how to face and plan for the challenges of aging together, without creating undue stress or burdens.
Article Provided by:
McGinty & Belcher
694 High Street NE, Salem, OR, 97301
Phone: 503-371-9636 Toll Free: 800-542-4320