Aging can be a period of great difficulty and complexity for people in California and around the country. During this time, the elderly need additional support and quality moments shared with family. If you have yet to help your aging parents create an estate plan, it’s important to remember that it’s not too late, but you should start thinking about it.
Estate planning in California
Estate planning is simply a process of protecting, managing and transferring wealth during one’s lifetime and after death. It also involves planning proactively for financial and healthcare needs long before incapacity. As a part of this process, you or your parents need to create important documents such as an advance healthcare directive, powers of attorney and a will.
Talking to your parents about estate planning
Even though you may fear that your parents are getting old, it’s important not to rush the estate planning process, but also don’t put it off for too long either. It would be best to find the right time to discuss the matter with them.
Start by finding out the plans they’ve already made – if any. Then have an honest discussion about their preferences and goals for the future. Show them that you understand what it’s like to be in this situation, and tell them how their decisions will affect the rest of the family. It’s also a good idea to introduce them to estate planning professionals, such as attorneys or financial advisors, so they can get more information on making informed decisions that benefit everyone involved.
Every estate plan is unique, so it’s essential to assess your parent’s goals, your family dynamic and the assets or liabilities your parents have accumulated over the years. Even though this process may seem daunting at first, having a plan will give your parents peace of mind knowing that all their affairs are in order and will also eliminate stress, confusion or even conflict during times of incapacity or after they die.