Protecting Your Golden Years

With more than 30 years of experience

Adult children may have concerns over parents’ care, estate plan

No one wants to be caught in a potentially dire situation without any type of plan. When Georgia residents begin to notice that their parents may not be as capable as they once were, it may be time to consider making important plans about their future care, including who to designate for being in charge of important personal matters and, if need be, handling their estate plan overall. In a best-case scenario, the parents would still have the mental capacity to have the majority of say in how these plans are made.

Though adult children may want to bring up the topic of creating essential plans for their parent, it is important that the parent guides the conversation. After all, an estate plan is about his or her wishes, and while the children may offer input, the end decisions are up to the parent. Of course, if it appears that the parent will need daily assistance or is facing serious health concerns, having loved ones involved in the planning process could determine who is available to provide help when needed.

Even if a parent seems to favor one child over another when it comes to receiving care, sharing responsibilities is often the best approach. Caring for an aging parent can be emotional and overwhelming for even the best suited child, taking on every obligation alone could be detrimental. If the family dynamic is one that is particularly open, they may be able to discuss these concerns and come to agreements without much issue.

While deciding on a caretaking schedule among family members does not need a formal document, there are certain matters that do need to be put on paper. For example, a parent may reach a point where he or she cannot make sound financial or medical decisions, and an adult child may need to step in. Creating a power of attorney document as part of the estate plan could allow the parent to name an agent to handle those affairs if and when it becomes necessary. When such legal documents are in place and comply with Georgia laws, the transition of responsibility and power could go much more smoothly.