Your parents have always been there, guiding you from your first steps to choosing a university and beyond. This can make it difficult for adult children to recognize that it is time to begin assuming more significant involvement in the needs of their parents. Though it might be a touchy subject for them, you and anyone else who is impacted by these decisions, it has to be done.
Even people who realize that their parents are in need of additional planning and care often don’t know when or how to broach the topic. Fortunately, the holidays are right around the corner, providing you a timely opportunity to have this uncomfortable discussion. Though you might be concerned that it will dampen the holiday spirit, that doesn’t have to be the case.
There are several reasons that a big family holiday is a perfect time to discuss estate planning matters with your parents. First of all, most of the people who are involved in the plans are likely present in one place. The time off for the holidays reduces the amount of work-related stress everyone is experiencing and gives everyone the chance to relax some during this important discussion.
For those who cannot be there in person, arrange for them to join the conversation via Skype or a similar system. This is a family meeting, and to ensure fairness and lack of conflict later on, everyone should be present to witness the words exchanged and ultimate outcomes of the topics being discussed.
Successful estate planning requires appropriate documents are created, witnessed and filed according to federal and state laws. First, your parents need to update their will to reflect any changes that have occurred since the draft of their current one. Perhaps a new grandchild has been born, or a favored charity fell into disfavor or disgrace. Your parents certainly want to be sure that these issues are corrected.
Oftentimes, older adults don’t want to admit that they are regressing somewhat in their ability to take care of their personal matters. However, it is vital that everyone understands their current physical and mental health, as well as how these matters impact the situation.
Talk to your parents about what they need and areas where they need help. In some instances, you might discover that the fixes are relatively simple, such as changing switchplates in the home.
Even if your family isn’t rolling in the dough, estate planning is still an important part of financial management. The government will intervene without a will, even if the assets total to less than a grand. Spouses often can’t access personal bank accounts of their recently deceased spouse without the appropriate documentation.
The holidays are a wonderful time for the entire family to gather and celebrate. Taking care of matters such as this will help everyone to relax and enjoy the party. The greater peace of mind you and everyone else experiences once this has been completed is well worth any awkward points that occur along the way.
Schedule Your Consultation with Our Experienced California Estate Planning Attorney
Celaya Law is an estate planning law firm in Napa, California. Attorney Anthony Celaya helps families in Napa, Sonoma, St. Helena, Calistoga, and the surrounding areas with setting up wills and living trusts, special needs planning, asset protection, probate administration, business law, and retirement planning.
Schedule a planning session with our experienced Napa attorney today to learn how we can help you and your family: (707) 492-3112.