Spending time visiting your parents this summer? Here are 6 practical ways that you can assist your elderly parents.
- Help your parents protect all their assets. Know all the professionals they work with, i.e. CPA, financial planner, attorney, etc.
- Know the location of all their important documents. If the documents are in a locked cabinet or fireproof storage, know where the keys are kept.
- Have the important conversations with them about their wishes for the future, who will be their executor, healthcare power of attorney, and discuss distribution of the heirlooms and personal property.
- You can’t take it with you! If they are able, suggest to your parents that they write a master list of who should get what, and give the document to the executor. Or, they can ask each child what they would like to have, and put that on a “wish list”. A document cuts down on the “he said-she said” that often goes on when settling an estate.
- Start de-cluttering and thinning out your parents’ home now. Often children are overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in their Depression Era parents’ home. This is a good way to begin the process of cleaning out, so you won’t have to do it all at once later. Make sure you have their permission.
- Always come from a place of love. You will have several difficult conversations and awkward moments when asking your parents these questions. Always approach them with love. For example, “Mom, we are very worried about you and would like to have a talk about what you would like for your future. Sue and I would like to honor your wishes, but first, we need to know what those wishes are.”
For more practical tips and compassionate advice, read my best-selling book, The Boomer Burden: Dealing with Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff. Check the right side of my blog for a link to order my books.
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com