Nobody likes to watch their parents get older; the people that have raised you for your entire life seem so invincible. However ageing is an inevitable part of human existence, and it could be that now is the time to take care of those who dedicated their lives to taking care of you. Even if their illnesses don’t seem serious, it might be worth making sure your parents’ affairs are in order, and here are some tips on how to begin.
Update their Will(s)
Now is the best time to check that their wills have been updated – they could have been written years ago, before marriages or grandchildren came along. Talk to your parents and find out what you can about their wills and make changes where necessary. Don’t forget to talk through the will with a solicitor to ensure that the document(s) are legal. You might want to inquire about contesting a will, and how to avoid these circumstances.
Sorting out the important documents
Whilst your parents are still alive, it is worth talking to them about where they store their documents – bank statements, mortgage information, credit card statements, insurance policies etc. Knowing where these documents are kept, and sorting them out can save the executor(s) of the will some time in managing your parents’ estate. It might be worth clearing any debts where you can, as this can save some time later on.
Power of Attorney
This is quite a sensitive subject, but if you feel that either of your parents have become too ill to look after themselves and their estate, then you might want to make a formal arrangement to act for them on their behalf. This is called taking power of attorney, and will allow you to make decisions with regards to their health and welfare, and their property and financial affairs.
Thinking about these things isn’t easy, but you are keeping their best interests at heart. Knowing that they can rest easy, and that everything has been taken care of can bring peace of mind to them, and to you.