The best time to discuss estate planning with aging parents

The aging population of Florida is on the rise. Taking care of aging parents can be less stressful when there is an estate plan in place. Having these conversations early can ensure that adult children meet the wishes of their parents before health issues or unexpected death prevents those discussions.

MarketWatch states that nearly half of those over the age of 55 have not had estate planning conversations with their adult children. Aging parents may not want their children to know how they mismanaged their money, lose their control over their finances or have uncomfortable discussions they feel can wait.

One serious concern about not having these conversations now is the effects on the family once the parent has passed. Minor issues can cause devastating conflicts in those left behind managing the estate. Adult children should take care to listen carefully to their parents about their wishes, reasons and plans for the future before and after they die.

Focus on the Family recommends families consider incorporating a variety of documents into the estate plan. Most people have a last will and testament or at least have heard of the document. The will focuses specifically on the division of property upon the death of a person from property to personal possessions.

However, while the parent is alive, initiating a trust can help a trusted family member or designated trustee help the parent manage their finances. A financial power of attorney or durable power of attorney does something similar, but a trust has more details. One other key document often overlooked is the letter of instruction for items such as funeral arrangements.