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10 Important Questions You Need to Ask Your Older Parents

Sep 07, 2017

Aging Parents

10 Important Questions You Need to Ask Your Older Parents

As your parents grow old, yet continue having a sound health, it's easy to avert discussions with them about the possible future difficulties. But there are many things like their financial matters, health care, living conditions and memorial preferences that are essential for you, as their progeny, to be aware of in your attempt to make sure that their affairs are in order.

There can be certain intricate topics that may turn out to be among the hardest and the most inconvenient exchanges you will ever get to deal with your parents. However tough it may be, you must obtain the answers to those important questions concerning your aging parents, and it is advisable to do away with these conversations before it's too late.

Here are 10 questions that can assist you in starting a conversation with your older parents.

  1. What Financial Establishments Manage Your Assets? Probe your parents about the details like a list of their banks, securities firms, Social Security cards, and retirement accounts, along with the supporting documents and their account credentials, if applicable.

  2. What Are Your Insurance Policies Details? You should also find out about their insurance policies details in which they have invested. You should have the knowledge regarding the insurance coverage, the contact point to start the claim process, and the services your parent will need to benefit in order to have a hassle free time when the need arises.

  3. What Are the Details of Your Social Support Unit? If your parents are taking professional help from any financial and legal company, make sure you know all the whereabouts if you need it. You may require referring to their lawyer, accountant and financial agent in property matters. You should also be aware of the details of the doctors treating your parents, for any exigency situation requiring a crucial medical decision.

  4. Have You Created a Will and Is It Up-to-Date? A will is your parent's outlook to impose the manner in which they would prefer their dealings to be handled. It is also crucial for our parents to make sure their will is updated so that the execution of their wishes is uncomplicated for a loved one who is simultaneously trying to mourn their loss.

  5. Have You Made a Living Will/Advance Directive? You should be aware of the importance of having a definite plan of action to handle any untoward situation which can render your parents incapable of taking a call by themselves while still alive. Therefore, your parents should also invest their time in making legal plans about their needs and the manner in which they wish to be cared for during their ill health or a handicap etc.

  6. Have You Got a Durable Power of Attorney? Assigning a power of attorney can be among the most difficult subjects to discuss but it's a necessary legal decision to be made by your parents. It is crucial that you, as an offspring, and/or any other interested persons are respectful of the decisions made by the elders. You should ensure that all the concerned members take part in conversations regarding the matter, rather than attempting a closed door conversation with your parent.

  7. Have You Got Your Updated Beneficiaries List? Ensure that your parents possess updated beneficiaries list to indicate their latest wishes. Selected beneficiaries on insurance policies, investments, pensions and so on outdo any guidelines in your parents' wills.

  8. Where to Locate Your Financial Paperwork? It can be very helpful to you if you are aware of the location of your parent's significant financial documents like legal right to their home and vehicles, unpaid loan documents, and previous tax returns. The information will save you from the nightmare of toiling for them at a trying time.

  9. How Do You Fancy Your Memorial Service? It will be very considerate of you to know the type of funeral your parents desire for, presuming they look forward to one, and the location of their burial or cremation. When a decision is finalized beforehand, your parents are confident that their wishes will be regarded.

  10. What Is the Location of Your Safe Box and Its Key? As an adult, this can be quite an emotional issue to handle in case of your aging parent but it's also a responsibility to locate and access their safe box to know what's inside it. To avoid the hassles of obtaining court order to acquire the contents of the safe box in case of your parent's death, make sure that you know all the relevant details through your parents beforehand.

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