Have you talked to your parents about their final wishes and estate planning? While it is a challenging conversation to have, getting things out on the table will help everyone to sleep a little more peacefully. This conversation becomes even more pressing as our parents age. To help you get started, we are here to discuss four questions you should ask your aging parents.

  1. Do you have a durable power of attorney? 

A durable power of attorney (DPOA) is a legal document that assigns a trusted individual to make decisions on your parents’ behalf. The DPOA differs from a  regular power of attorney in that it continues to be in force even if they are incapacitated. 

  1. Do You Have A Trust? 

Any titled asset that your parents own can be placed into a trust. This includes real estate, vehicles and vessels, investment accounts, savings accounts, and virtually anything of value. Your parents can decide how the trust is to be administered and distributed, and it can include providing for them while they are still alive. A trust can help avoid probate and preserve their assets in the event they require long-term care. 

  1. Is Your Trust Properly Funded?

If your parents have already established a revocable living trust, the next step is to fund it. Funding a trust involves placing assets into it, which will require them to transfer the title from their names to that of the trust. A trust in itself is just a document. For the trust to be effective, assets must be placed into it.  

  1. When Was The Last Time Your Estate Documents Were Updated?

Life circumstances change from time to time. Significant events, such as a birth or death in the family, moving out of state, or changing a trustee designation, should trigger a review of your parents’ estate plan. We suggest our clients go over their estate plan every three years to ensure the details still support and reflect their final wishes. 

If you would like to help your aging parents ensure that their estate is up to date, schedule an appointment with one of our estate planning specialists today.