When your senior mom or dad chooses to age in place, they still have a home to care for. But what happens during their final stage of life? What happens to the house or apartment they are living in? The answer can depend on several factors, but if your mom or dad owns their house, they need to start thinking about estate planning. Adult children can be a crucial part of the process because estate planning is important for the whole family, and everyone needs to be on the same page with what is happening to the house as a senior gets ready to move on to the next phase in their lives. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Hire a Professional
Estate planning can be challenging, and not all seniors know where to begin. That’s okay! Some professionals can help with the legal side of it and help seniors understand what they need to do and what they need to know. A professional will understand a senior’s wishes and do their best to ensure the outcome is precisely what they want as long as it is legal.
You don’t have to be on your deathbed to start estate planning. It is better to do it before anything bad happens. This means you, your family, and your loved ones will all be prepared when the time comes to move on or move out. When you start earlier than necessary, you also have time to change or rearrange things as you see fit. It gives you time to think things through, ensuring you’ve made your wishes known and you’ve made the right choice. There is no rush when you start earlier.
Create a Will
If your loved one wants the estate to stay in the family, this must go into a will. This is also why hiring a legal professional can be a crucial part of the process. This means the adult children will know exactly what their parents want, and there will be no fighting at the end of a senior’s life. Everyone will get something. If your loved one does not wish to keep the house in the family name, they can sell it and split the money. However, this will also need to be in a will, and the wishes of the senior need to be stated in an exact manner, which is easier done with a professional.
Think About Long-Term Care
You may not be able to live in your home forever, so it’s important to think about these things earlier rather than later. If you know at some point you will need care, you will have to think about who gets the home, who can make decisions, and if you want it to stay in your family or if you want to sell it and use the money to get care. All of this needs to be clearly stated and discussed by your family.
Are you an adult child wondering how to help with estate planning? The truth is, your role in this is to support your elderly loved one. You should keep an open dialogue about their wishes on the estate, helping gather important information, and assisting as needed. This can be a demanding process, but with the right help, it will be worth it for your senior mom or dad, who can rest easy at the end of their lives.