As your parents enter their golden years and they need help attending to their affairs, it is essential that you approach the topic with them carefully. The most effective way to handle this process is by preplanning, which may include establishing a trust, guardianship, conservatorship, and durable power of attorney. One of our experienced estate planning attorneys can assist you with any of these legal documents that can provide you a legal means for taking over your parents’ finances when they need help. The absolute best method (and least costly overall) is to help them create a trust where you, or some other trusted family member (or a bank), become a co-Trustee to help them manage their finances.
It can be difficult to approach your parents with this topic. Depending on your family relationships, you may want to consider whether you should appoint one person to discuss it with them, have a family meeting or include an attorney in the meeting. Whatever you decide is the best strategy for your family, it is imperative that you take action while they have the necessary mental capacity to execute the necessary legal documents.
One thing you should make clear to your parents is that you are not attempting to take control over their finances at this time. Rather, you are merely taking steps to prepare for when it may become necessary. If your parents are reluctant, you should also inform that it is not necessary for them to make a full finanical disclosure to you (or anyone else) at this time. All that is required is that you are told where their financial information is located and how to access it. Remember, you will want them to include their online login information and passwords so you can access their digital assets.
If you need help discussing these matters with your parents or you believe the information will be better received from an estate planning lawyer, we can help. If your parents will view this discussion as part of their estate planning process, it may help them not be as defensive about it.
The Astill Law Office has provided high quality legal services for over 30 years. We specialize in wills, trusts, estate planning, and asset protection. If you have any questions about creating a Trust, Will, or estate planning in general, contact The Astill Law Office at 801-438-8698.