Financial Questions You Need to Ask Your Aging Parent

According to legal and financial solutions agency ARAG, one of the top family-related legal concerns is providing care for an aging family member.

With a rapidly-rising elderly population in the U.S., 70% of people will need some form of long-term care during their lives. Add that with the 66 million (and growing) unpaid family caregivers in the U.S. each year, and it’s easy to see how financial matters related to elder care should be addressed sooner than later.

Don’t be caught off guard if your aging parents’ health takes a sudden turn for the worse. If you haven’t yet done so, the best time to talk about caregiving financial and legal issues with them is now.

Mainstreet.com has six questions to start the dialogue, adapted below:

  • 1. What’s your parent’s current financial situation? Where are their checking and savings accounts held? Also, be sure to find out where any financial planning documents are stored which may provide instructions for your parents’ long-term care.
  • 2. Do your parents have a Durable Power of Attorney? This document gives a trusted loved one some decision-making power in case your parent becomes incapacitated, including the ability to write checks for your parent in case there are bills and other financial responsibilities that need to be taken care of.
  • 3. What about Healthcare Power of Attorney? This gives a designated person the ability to make medical decisions if your parent is unable to do so. Be sure you know your parent’s preferences though (see question four). It is their life after all.
  • 4. Does Dad have an advance directive in place? The advance directive is an outline of the person’s wishes about medical and life-sustaining procedures.
  • 5. What will happen if your parents becomes incapacitated? If they haven’t done already, map out a plan that states their preferences as to where they wish to live in case they become incapacitated (assisted living, nursing home, home hospice, etc.). Make sure they’ve also designated where the necessary funds to pay for their care will come from.
  • 6. Is their will up to date? Many people haven’t updated their will since they were first married or their first child was born. Make sure everything is up to date for present-day end-of-life preferences. Also, as a family caregiver, make sure you and other family members know where the will is located so everyone knows who is responsible for managing the estate.

Long-term care and end-of-life care is very expensive. As such, you and your parents will likely need to find ways to be creative to make resources last. A good discussion with a professional senior care company can help create a plan that everyone can live with.

Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Get your free Cost Comparison guide by clicking here. Or contact us for a free consultation or just to say hello!

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“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”