Have you noticed that your parents are beginning to look older? Do they still live in their own home, buy their own groceries and drive themselves to appointments? Have you had any conversations with them about their future? For example, do they have an estate plan, if they became incapacitated where would they want to live or who is in charge of their affairs if they were incapacitated? We know that talking with your aging parents about estate planning issues, health care and death may be difficult and uncomfortable. However, when approached with care you may find that your aging parents are more receptive to discussing these important issues than you anticipated.

We would like to recommend some thought provoking questions to ask your parents when you have an opportunity. Sitting down and discussing the future now, while everyone is healthy and has capacity, is a great time to plan ahead. Here are four potential questions.

Have your parents completed any estate planning? Have your parents recently had close friends or relatives pass away? When talking to your parents about the passing of their friends or relatives, you could gently introduce the subject of estate planning. Start the conversation by talking to your parents about whether they have a Florida estate planning attorney, have they created an estate plan, or have they chosen trusted people to take over for them if they become incapacitated?

Where do your parents want to live if they no longer can live on their own? Or if they need long-term nursing home care? Often, aging adults may eventually require assistance with daily tasks, such as keeping up with necessary medications, personal hygiene, or home-related responsibilities. When this occurs, ask if they would prefer in-home care or moving to an assisted-living facility? So, do your aging parents want to stay in their home with a caregiver or move into a nursing home? Will they have the funds to pay for in-home care or a nursing home?

Do your parents each have a Florida power of attorney? Who have they chosen to be their power of attorney? If your aging parents were suddenly to become incapacitated, their power of attorney would name a trusted person of their choice to make legally binding decisions on their behalf. Discussing this concept of preparedness could ease the concerns of your parents in regard to if they were to suddenly become incapacitated due to an accident or illness. Your aging parents could also create instructions through an advance directive for how their chosen agent should handle their health care if they are incapacitated or facing an end-of-life situation.

Do your parents have a team of professionals they consult with about their legacy and how it will impact their children and possibly their grandchildren? Estate planning often involves health care and financial considerations that can not only impact aging parents during their lifetimes, but also their children and grandchildren after they pass. Working with qualified legal and financial professionals can help ensure that the wishes of your aging parents are followed.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.