19 Jun 5 Tough Questions to Ask Older Parents
Starting the conversation with older parents about finances and funerals can be tough, and not to mention uncomfortable. But, there are important things that you simply need to know in order to carry out their wishes if the worst was to happen, and the earlier you can do it, the better. Planning out when you want to ask your parents, whether it be after a holiday or another family gathering, is important and gives you time to prepare your talking points and exactly what you want to say to them. If speaking to them is too difficult, try to write to them via email or even by writing. No matter what, the most important aspect of all of this is to find out what your parents want and your role in the scheme of things.
Do you have a will?
This is a good jumping off point, because if they don’t have a will, then your parents likely won’t have many other documents in order. If they do, make sure to find out how old it is, who will be the executor, and where the physical document is.
Where is your important paperwork?
Financial documents, tax files, and insurance are all important parts of life that you’ll need access to aid your parents if something was to happen. Make sure that you know where they are and have the key, code, or some form of access to them in case of an emergency. If you don’t, you could end up having to go through the legal system of obtaining the right to access everything, which can be costly and time-wasting.
Do you have a durable power of attorney?
Try to make an appointment to see them if your parents do. Find out how your parents feel about life support and their financial situation so that you can help them the best.
Do you want to move?
If and when a parent wants to move, you should be ready for them. Big houses can get to be too much, and downsizing is a common part of aging. Or, if they are planning on moving in, make sure that there’s a spare bedroom and a family discussion about it.
How would you like your memorial service to be?
If they would like a funeral, discuss their ideas of how they want the day to be. Whether or not they want to be cremated or if they have a plot they purchased years ago, these are important factors to know in order to carry out their wishes properly.