5 Estate Planning Steps To Benefit Your Elders

Estate planning normally involves strategies to preserve wealth for a family's younger generation. But it may also involve elderly relatives—your parents and in-laws or maybe an aunt or an uncle—who could use your assistance. Indeed, this older generation might need your help even more than your offspring who are already making their way in the world.

1. Have "the talk." As difficult as it can be to sit down with a parent to talk about money and end-of-life decision-making, there's really no alternative to having a candid discussion of these sensitive matters. Your mom and dad may not like what you have to say, but if you start by really listening, giving them the opportunity to provide their point of view, it could launch a productive discussion. Try to address tough issues such as the possibility of relocating to an assisted-living facility or a nursing home, and don't be surprised if things get heated and emotional. Including other family members, such as your siblings, in this discussion will also be helpful, and whenever possible, have the family meetings in person rather than over the phone.

2. Create a contact list. You've probably already done this for yourself, but compiling all of the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of crucial contacts for your older relatives can be particularly crucial. These could include financial advisors, attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, physicians, and dentists. These days, creating a digital version of the list and storing it on multiple computers makes the most sense.

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This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Meg Green & Associates. and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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