This holiday season, it might be good idea to take a moment away from all the food, festivities and gifts to evaluate your estate planning needs and those of your family. A few simple conversations can be a great help in the long run.
- Tip 1: Talk about it. You don’t have to sit everyone down at the dinner table and announce that you want to talk about what happens if each of you were to die, but you can bring up aging issues with your family in an appropriate manner. You might want to start by telling others what you would want to happen if you died suddenly, and what steps you’ve take, or plan on taking, in case this happens.
- Tip 2: Look with new eyes. It can be easy to become complacent and assume everyone is the same as they were last year. However, some people, especially elderly parents and family members, may be less willing to talk about their concerns as they age. An elderly parent may have become more forgetful this past year and may not be aware of this fact, or may be unwilling to talk about it much.
- Tip 3: Be prepared to act. If you do have elderly family members that need more help, be ready to offer that assistance. It can be as simple as visiting more often, agreeing to take over bill paying or something more complicated, such as having the parent grant someone else power of attorney.