discussing estate planning with parents

May 22, 2018

How to discuss estate planning with your parents painlessly

The real reason that you are asking them such personal questions.
Five talking points to focus a discussion around estate planning and power of attorney and make it practical not emotional.

  • About me and Paget Will Writing Ltd. I qualified as a solicitor in 1993. I worked in private practice for 20 years specialising in different areas of litigation. I ran contested estate disputes and Court of Protection actions for the last 15 years of that period. I set up Paget Will Writing Ltd in 2016 and have been trading for nearly 2 years.
  • Five things to talk about with ageing parents:
    • Legal Documents • D to the power of 3: Disorderly Document Deluge • Long term Care Planning • Living Arrangements • I’m asking because I care

Legal Documents

  • Will – A written document with your instructions as to how your assets should be distributed after death. If you die without one, the state will decide where your property and money goes.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Affairs –  A document that appoints a trusted person to take charge of your finances and other assets if you lose mental capacity.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare – A legal document that empowers a trusted person to make healthcare decisions if you lose capacity to do so yourself.
  • Advance Decision to refuse medical treatment – anticipatory refusal of specific medical treatment to be used should person lack capacity to give consent in the future.
  • Advance Statement – an expression of a person’s current wishes and feelings to be taken into account by a decision-maker in the future.

Disorderly Document Deluge

  • Where do you keep your important paperwork? Encourage them to organise the following paperwork and store it in a safe place known to you or their LPA attorney/s:
  • Essential Documents – Will; Powers of Attorney, Passport, Pension books, funeral plan.
  • Proof of Ownership – title documents, mortgage documents, vehicle registration documents, share certificates, savings bonds, ISAs, pension bonds, life insurance documentation, tax returns.
  • Bank Accounts – list of all accounts with user names and passcodes, safe deposit boxes.
  • Health Care Documents – Personal and family medical history; authority to release medical information, Advance Directive of Advance Statement.
  • Life Insurance and Retirement – life insurance policies, pension and annuity contracts

Long-term care planning

Family Caregiver Alliance – 69% of people aged 65+ will develop a disability. 35% will enter a nursing or care home. Discuss your parents plans.

  • Family to give care
  • Home carers like Blue Bird
  • Nursing home care
  • Long term care insurance

Living Arrangements

  • Living on multiple floors?
  • Will they need to carry laundry or groceries up/down stairs?
  • Challenge to manage house and garden later?
  • Can they afford to pay for assistance?
  • Would down-sizing be appropriate?

I ask because I care about you

It’s hard to talk about:

  • I don’t want to think about you dying and nor do you
  • I don’t want you to think that I am after your money
  • I want to be able to honour your wishes and choices by talking and planning now while you are able-bodied and able-minded.
  • Let’s make decisions and arrangements before you need them
  • You will have the most input and control now.
For more information on estate planning, powers of attorney or will writing please contact Catherine Paget