It is a fortunate thing that you have both or one of your parents alive. As an elder child, you fell in some responsibility to talk to them about their end-of-life issues and wishes. It is not easy to talk about dying and death to your parents especially, but these are pretty serious and important conversations. They can help you in getting peace of mind.
You may think there were many awkward chats you had with your parents when you were growing up but now that you are an adult, the most uncomfortable and awkward conversation would be about asking them their end-of-life issues and concerns. For the parents’ wishes, you need them to have the right legal and financial paperwork in place. Once you know what they want, things get easier for you. Here are a few important questions that you can ask your parents.
Question 1: Do You Have any Will?
Will is important as it is the future of everything that a person has. It is not just about the property or money but also the mementos and pets. If someone dies without any will, the estate of that person is divided by court. They decide where and to whom everything will go. Even verbal wishes cannot be accepted by the court.
So, for bringing this question up, you can start with the line that I do not want to disturb you but if something happens to you, where would you like to honor all your belongings? Do you have any will? If they say yes, then you can proceed with the process. Many people meet with an attorney for drawing up the will. In a couple of sessions, they can write down about everything and all the beneficiaries as well.
Question 2: Do you have Power of Attorney?
Power of attorney is the designation that makes another person legal and able to make a financial decision especially when a person is in the condition of not doing it by himself. In absence of any paperwork, the spouse or elder child is considered as the default power of attorney.
For bringing this up, you can say that I am nominating someone to make decisions on my behalf when I am not able to, and I am getting the paperwork done for that. It would be great if you did the same for yourself as well. If they agree then you can start the process. The best option is to bring in a lawyer for the power of attorney process. Within two to three appointments, you can get it done.
Question 3: Do you have Healthcare Directives?
Advanced healthcare directives are a set of healthcare orders. It includes a living will which has the instructions for your possessions, a health proxy for appointing someone else for making health-related decisions when someone is not able to, and a HIPAA release where the person allows another one to access the medical records that are useful for making insurance claims.
Clear instruction is written can make the families secure and prevents them from getting involved in arguments or lawsuits.
In order to bring that up to your parents, you can ask that if there comes a time when you are on life support then it would not be easier for me. But in that time, you would not be able to make any decision for you so if you want you can talk about how to feel about that time and what do you want for that time. And for the ease of both of use, you can put your wishes in writing.
Healthcare directives are different for different regions. You can get the specific one from the state office and proceed further.
Question 4: Do You have an Authorized User on Your Investment or Bank Accounts?
In case of incompetence or death, an account holder’s family may need money for making arrangements like a nursing home, medical care, or funeral arrangements. A straight and simple way of keeping the money of your parents being tied up in validation process is to nominate a family member as a co-owner of the accounts. This helps in withdrawing, depositing, and closing an account.
For initiating this conversation, you can say Dad! I am not willing to take your money at all but for sometimes, we need a few documents in line for handling your finances. Can we talk about it? After the discussion, you can visit the bank for paperwork with your parents and make the process done within an hour.
Question 5: Do you have any thoughts about Long-Term Care Insurance?
Many long-term living expenses are not covered by any government and they are quite costly. Long-term healthcare insurance includes anything from an extended home assistance to a nursing home. Costs of long-term insurances are climbing on daily basis.
For bringing this point, you can ask by saying I read about the costs of assisted living and it is increasing annually. I was stunned and I want the best care for you if it ever comes to you. Have you thought about insurance for that? if they say yes, then you can initiate the process. You can see what long-term care insurance policies make sense to you for your parents. With the health insurance, coverage varies with the policies. You have to figure out that which is the best for you and suits the financial position of yours.
Losing parents is not easier for anyone. You can never replace your parents with anything else in the whole world, but the truth is, they are going to die one day. They might live for 100 years, but in the end, you have to accept this reality. They are the people who are the sincerest ones for you and as children, you should also be sincere with them. Here we have discussed the possible ways that you can explore to ask your parents about their end-life issues and wishes.