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Are you one of the many individuals faced with saving for your own retirement while figuring out your aging parents’ estate planning at the same time? While the morbid thought of what to do with your parent’s assets after their passing is the last thing you want to think about, it is imperative to avoid future issues. Ease both your and your parents’ worries by starting the conversation about estate and healthcare planning as soon as possible. Compiled are guidelines to ease the process:

  1. Timing is key – Avoid bringing up estate planning right after Christmas dinner. Rather than surprising your parents with the intense conversation, inform them you would like to schedule a time to talk about estate planning. Choosing a comfortable setting is crucial. You may want to invite siblings if your parents agree, and a financial planning professional to join the conversation.
  2. Ask the right questions – This is a time to think about what will affect both you and your parents in the event of a tragic occurrence. Before the arranged meeting, be sure to write down the information you actually need, rather than what information you simply want. This should include questions regarding advance directives in the event that both of your parents pass at the same time.
  3. The 3 Important Documents – Most importantly, be sure to finalize the three most important documents for estate planning. This includes the Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Directive or Living Will, and finally, the Last Will and Testament.
    • Durable Power of Attorney – You should have two separate power of attorneys. One for their financial decisions and another for their healthcare decisions. This important document appoints someone to act on the individual’s behalf if they become incapacitated.
    • Health Care Directive or Living Will – This document tells medical professionals the specific wishes of the individual regarding life-prolonging medical treatment.
    • Last Will and Testament – This document will appoint one specific person or multiple people to manage the estate after the individual passes.

The experts at Gaudy Law can help you initiate the estate planning conversation and help you with finalizing any of the crucial documents. Contact us today and allow us to guide you through the process.

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