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