If your parents are retired or nearing retirement, you need to sit down with them and make sure that they have made plans for their health and well-being as they age. Here are five things that your elderly parents need to discuss with a lawyer and make sure they have solid plans for.
#1 Long-Term Health Care Insurance
Your parents are going to continue to age, and as they age, they may need more medical assistance than they are currently getting. In order to ensure that your parents will have the funds to pay for their health care for the rest of their life, see if they have a long-term health care insurance policy.
If they don't have one, help them find an insurance agent to talk with and run any policy they are interested in past their lawyer to ensure it offers the protection they need. This type of policy will ensure that their assets are not swallowed up to pay for their health care needs.
#2 Decide On A Health Care Agent
Your parents also need to decide who they want to make medical decisions for them in the event that either of them are unable to do so. This should be someone who understands their wishes and will respect them and follow them out. This person will act as a liaison between your parent's doctors and your parent's wishes when they are no longer able to do so.
Your parents need to have their lawyer draw up a legal document that states who their health care agent will be. This will eliminate confusion and will ensure that their health plan and beliefs are followed.
#3 Create An Advanced Directive
With their attorney, your parents all need to create an advanced directive. There are two parts to an advanced directive, a living trust and health care power of attorney. This is who will be able to make medical decisions on your parents behalf if they are not able to.
This is generally the same individual your parents choose to be their health care agent. They can also specify who they would want to act on their behalf if their first choice is unable to for some reason.
#4 Update Their Will
Finally, if your parents do not have a will, they need to create one. Having a will in place, even a very basic one, will make it easier to handle their affairs when they pass away.
If they already have a will, they should review it and make sure that it reflects all of their current assets and interests.
Make sure that your parents have this important legal paperwork drawn up. You should also make sure that you and your other siblings know where this legal paperwork is stored so you all can access it if needed. Taking these steps will ensure that your parents wishes are followed out no matter what happens to them.