• Overcoming the Generational Gap--10 conversation-starting questions that adults should ask their parents
  • December 7, 2009
  • Law Firm: Plachta Murphy Associates P.C. - Grand Rapids Office
  • How to Approach Your Parents About Their Estate Planning

    PMA often hears from people who are concerned that their parents may not have an estate plan in place.  They are worried that if something happens to one or both parents, they will not be equipped to assist their parents, and many times have no idea where the parents stand financially.  Understandably, these subjects may be hard for families to discuss.

    How can you approach your parents about these issues? First, you should get your own house in order; make sure that you have executed your own will, durable power of attorney, and designation of patient advocate. After you learn about these tools, then you should be able to approach your parents by referring from your experience with an elder law attorney and the information you found out. Then ask your parents if they have done the same planning. The goal is to balance safety with independence, and to not wait until an emergency strikes to start planning.

    Ten conversation-starting questions that adults should ask their parents

    1. Do you feel comfortable about your financial situation?  Would a financial planner be helpful?

    2. Do you have an estate plan?

    3. Who should handle your finances if you become ill?

    4. In the event you become seriously ill, what level of care and intervention would you like?

    5. Do you have enough health insurance?

    6. Do you feel your physician is well-informed about issues common to older patients?

    7. Can we make your home more comfortable?

    8. Are you feeling secure about driving?

    9. Can you share your thoughts about your funeral?

    10. Can you compile a list of all your important information?

    PMA can assist families with their estate and long-term care planning needs.  If plans need to be made, or existing plans need to be updated, then the time to accomplish these objectives is prior to an emergency while the parents still have the capacity to get their affairs in order. If you have concerns please feel free to contact Elder Law Attorney, Brian J. Plachta, for a free consultation. 616-458-3994