Do Your Aging Parents Have the Right Estate Plan?
Many older people have wills and plans that were created when they were younger, or before they had additional family members, such as grandchildren. Their circumstances and families have most likely changed since the documents were drawn up, as well as there being changes in the laws. Talking to your parents about their estate plan can be uncomfortable. However, planning for how their estate should be handled in the event of their death or incapacitation is an important conversation to have. Having an organized and current will or estate plan in place can ease the stress put on adult children and other loved ones during this time. It will also offer peace of mind to your parents to know that all their current wishes will be met and those they care about most will have one less thing to worry about when they pass away.
What Special Concerns Apply to Elderly People in Estate Planning?
When you ask your aging parents about their estate plan, they may say that they already made a will – a long time ago. Much may have changed since then. Elderly people may have amassed more personal property, real estate, financial investments, or other assets. People may inherit property in older adulthood as their siblings and other similarly aged relatives begin to pass away. Or, some property that was included in the original plan may have been sold – for example, some people sell their houses when they move into a senior living community.
Laws may also have changed since your parents’ original estate plan was made. The field of estate planning is constantly changing and evolving. Even if your parents believe their estate plan is up to date, if it has been more than a few years, having a lawyer take a look might be a good idea.
How Does an Organized Estate Plan Benefit Surviving Family Members?
Estates are getting more and more complex. It is common for older adults to have dozens of folders containing documents related to investment, retirement accounts, real estate transactions, or insurance. Sorting through all that can be a challenge for surviving relatives during what is already a difficult time. Working with an attorney to create one organized estate plan is a wonderful gift aging parents can give to their children. It can greatly reduce the stress people will go through after losing a parent if everything they need to distribute the estate is in one place.
Having a comprehensive estate plan can also prevent family conflict in the wake of a parent’s passing. When property is unaccounted for in an estate plan, or an asset that was bequeathed to someone is missing from the estate because it was sold already, it can cause discord within a family. The stronger the estate plan, the smoother carrying it out will be, and the less likely a family is to struggle with conflict during administration.
Talk to an Illinois Estate Planning Attorney
Talking to your aging parents about their estate plans might be difficult, but it is well worth it. After you talk to your parents, consider contacting the Gierach Law Firm. Our Naperville estate planning lawyers will take an individualized approach to your family’s estate planning and create a comprehensive estate plan that works for your unique situation. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation and see how we can help your family.
Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.