Money, health, and control of assets are difficult topics at any age. As difficult as it may be, adult children need to share their feelings with loved ones. Sit down, ask questions, and listen before planning the move of a parent to a senior community. Better communications between child and parent is going to create a sense of comfort. The goal is to understand what your loved ones need and want, so you can manage this transition smoothly.
Spend real time with them. It is an emotional phase for both the aging parent and the adult child. Making an effort to listen to elderly/senior parents helps to resolve your own frustrations. It starts with organizing your parents’ assets. You need to make sure the funds and lawful controls are in place. The supporting documents include wills, trusts, or estate plans.
Knowing how they want financial, medical and personal property matters handled is the first step. If they have not met with an attorney, you need to find one who understands the legal aspects of aging. A power of attorney will help manage the transition. The will and estate plan help to clarify their personal wishes at the time of death.
- Power of Attorney – designates a person to make financial decisions when parents cannot.
- Will – stipulates the transfer of personal property. It does not control jointly owned assets or retirement accounts with named beneficiaries.
- Estate plan – specifies the distribution of wealth to family. It can help to avoid taxes and probate of assets.
The average monthly cost for senior living varies from state to state. Not everyone is financially prepared. For this reason, there are several health care options. The choice depends on the financial status and lifestyle preferences of elderly/senior parents.
- Long-Term Care Insurance – Covers assisted living, senior care, nursing home and hospice costs.
- Life Insurance – Plans are convertible into a long-term care benefit plan.
- Government Assistance – Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration offer senior care assistance programs.
- Reverse Mortgages – A home’s equity can pay for senior living and long-term care.
Knowing the financial and legal status helps to manage the situation. Planning eases the stress for adult children of elderly/senior parents. As part of the plan, be prepared as senior health conditions change increasing the level of care. The legal documents enforce your loved ones decisions.