We’ve had plenty of conversations recently with people in their working years. It’s reminded us of a basic fact: family dynamics and money can create a lot of angst for people of any age. The issues of aging may be about universal to the human experience, but the particulars have to be navigated family by family.
We’ve seen these topics from many angles. They are pertinent for aging couples, vital for singles. Couple dynamics usually involve one taking care of the other; when there is no “other” in the household, that support system must be found elsewhere. (Trust me on this: I’ve lived it!)
When the dynamics in a family start changing, it can feel concerning for those in the younger generation, too. The questions we’ve fielded are as varied as the families:
- May an adult child or someone else do business on behalf of a parent who is not able to?
- Are there sufficient resources to take care of the health needs of the parent?
- Is there a plan to be sure assets are titled properly and headed where they should be in the event of death? How do we avoid spending unnecessary time, energy, taxes, or legal work when the time comes?
- What are the roles of Medicare and Medicaid?
- Should we be aware of any scams or elder abuse that could be a threat to a parent?
- Who makes health decisions on behalf of a parent who is not able to?
- Where is the information survivors would need to settle a parent’s affairs?
The ideal scenario is that a family goes into any major event with clarity, already: that the senior generation’s plans and intentions are already made known, that they’ve communicated their wishes regarding health care principles and the ultimate disposition of their estate. And sometimes we arrive at a big moment and need to work with what we have.
If you are concerned about a parent, an initial call can help us understand your questions, point you to resources, explain how things might work, or make plans for a meeting with the parent.
If you are a parent and would like to make sure your plans and intentions are carried out, let’s talk.
In all cases, better communication usually reduces stress. Assets are the result of years or lifetimes of work and effort. We believe that planning to make sure they do as we intend is one way to respect that work and effort.
Call or email to get a conversation started: any moment can be the right moment to start.
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