Legacy Solutions: “The Fifty Factor” A Most Timely Family Conversation For Aging Parents and Adult ChildrenBy: Jon Hull, Author / Life & Legacy Documentation Expert / Speaker [caption id="attachment_1142" align="alignnone" width="320"] The Fifty Factor[/caption]
This is the last article in our Legacy Solutions series, ” Timely Family Conversations”. Over the past several weeks we have been laying the groundwork of when a persons’ legal status changes, which causes additional actions that need to be taken to have your affairs in order as you go through life.
“The Fifty Factor” is the most important benchmark in time for those who did not put their affairs in order as they went along, or those adult children who do not have a clue as to whether or not their aging parents have put their wishes in legal form to protect their family and finances.
Here is how it works; So, you did not put your affairs in order, but now want to bring the family up to speed on the critical need to have affairs in order as you go, and as they go through life. We use the age of 50 just to have a line in the sand to work from. You may be older, but the same principles apply. To bring the family into the loop, you need to have a conversation with then about your estate plans and how they need to take action to get caught up in having their affairs in order. Now you have these articles to help them understand what is at stake as legal statuses change. As the elders, we need to demonstrate our leadership to get them on track and also let them know you are prepared for the future as well. We need to let our children know we are on track in order to ease any worry or fear they may be having about us moving on to old age. They may be worried sick, but don’t know ho to approach the subject with us. Ease their concerns.
For adult children who are worried, if your parent(s) is 50, or older, and has not talked with you about their wishes and whether or not they have put their affairs in order, you need to start the conversation. Waiting to do this should not be an option for you, there is too much at stake and there is really no good reason not to. At 50, age related symptoms can start to pop up and sound judgement about finances and later in life decisions can start to wain in some people.
Keep in mind, this is not about you. This is about making sure your parents have taken the proper and legal steps to protect their finances for their future. It is a caring and thoughtful conversation designed to have an open conversation from all perspectives. We believe this conversation is a responsibility. You do not want to be in a position where an aging parent becomes incapacitated, or worse, and you find out nothing has been done. It’s too late then and you may be the one who shoulders the burden of trying to piece together information for their well-being now and in the future, information that may be hard or impossible to find. Also, you will not have the legal access to this information, thus the process of hiring lawyers and going through the courts to possibly gain guardianship or whatever the case may be. You can stop this from happening now by just having a conversation and getting your own position fix on what needs to be done. If your parents have not taken the steps to put their affairs in order, you can help them be savvy and confident. This may take some of your time now, but nothing compared to the tiem, and your own finances, you will spend if you wait until it’s too late.
The opportunity is now, take the time to talk. A gentle and loving conversation now can save the whole family from the additional heartache that comes with waiting until it’s too late.
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