For an adult child with aging parents, it can be difficult to broach the subject of estate planning; however, it is also important to do so. A thorough estate plan will not just direct the distribution of assets after your parents pass away but can also protect those assets while they are still alive and ensure that their wishes are honored if they become incapacitated. While it is not necessary for you to know all the details of their estate plans, it is important for you to make sure that they have comprehensive plans in place. Toward that end, an Indianapolis attorney at Frank & Kraft discusses talking to your parents about their estate plans and suggests some questions to ask to ensure that their plans will be successful.
The Benefits of Estate Planning
Hopefully, you have a comprehensive estate plan in place yourself, so you already know the numerous and varied benefits of estate planning. For your aging parents, the benefits will be more important and more apparent. While it is true that an estate plan ensures that the creator’s assets are distributed according to his/her wishes during probate, a well thought out estate plan can do much more than that. For your parents, an estate plan can help with long-term care planning, retirement planning, and incapacity planning as well. Eventually, that same estate plan can ensure that the wishes of a parent are honored regarding funeral and burial services. Given the important and beneficial nature of an estate plan, you should sit down and talk to your parents about their plans.
Questions to Ask Your Parents about Their Estate Plans
Bringing up the subject of estate planning with your parents may not be easy for several reasons. Your parents may be reluctant to discuss details about the distribution of their assets with you and/or you may be reluctant to envision a time when your parents are no longer alive. Keep in mind that your goal is to protect your parents, not infringe on their private decision-making. To put your parents at ease, explain from the outset that your goal is not to gather details from them, but to ask some questions to ensure that they are protected. With that in mind, some important questions to ask your parents include:
- Last Will and Testament Questions
- Do you have a Will?
- Have you updated your Will recently?
- Is the Executor still able and willing to administer your estate?
- Does your Executor (or a family member) have an original copy of your Will?
- Was the Will prepared (or reviewed) by an attorney to ensure it is valid?
- Incapacity Planning Questions
- Do you have a durable Power of Attorney in place?
- Do you have a healthcare Power of Attorney?
- Is the Agent appointed in a POA still able and willing to serve?
- Do you have a living Will?
- Do you have any other incapacity plans, such as a revocable living trust?
- Who has your incapacity planning documents?
- Long-Term Care Planning Questions
- Are you able to pay for the high cost of long-term care?
- Do you have long-term care insurance?
- Have you incorporated Medicaid planning into your estate plan?
- Is there an LTC facility that you prefer if LTC is needed?
- Funeral Planning Questions
- What are your wishes regarding the handling of your body and the service to be held after your passing?
- Have you put these wishes in writing?
- Who is in charge of making funeral and burial arrangements?
Do You Have Additional Questions about Estate Planning?
For more information, please join us for an upcoming FREE seminar. If you have additional questions about estate planning, contact an experienced Indianapolis estate planning attorney at Frank & Kraft by calling (317) 684-1100 to schedule an appointment.
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