Your Family Matters

Talking to elderly parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2024 | Estate Planning

For many Illinois residents, having a will means having an estate plan. But an estate plan can be more than just a will, and some of the other documents involved in an estate plan could be necessary for elderly parents.

Current statistics regarding the elderly and debt are frightening. A 2018 survey from the National Council of Aging reported that more people over the age of 65 hold more debt than ever before.

Additionally, almost half of U.S. residents over the age of 60 have Social Security as their only form of income. This is usually not enough to keep up with payments on debts.

Discussing estate planning may be difficult for both of you

The economic struggles in recent years have led to many people on fixed incomes using credit cards to survive. To add to the problem, elderly parents are sometimes embarrassed to discuss the situation with their children, ashamed of how much debt they have accumulated.

It can be tough for children to discuss estate planning with parents, as well, but if you learn your parents are struggling financially or in a lot of debt, the estate planning talk is essential.

If your parents do not have a will, now is the time to set one up. Having a plan for their assets is one important step in the right direction. This can also help you formulate a plan to address any accrued debt.

The value of a power of attorney

Setting up a medical or financial power of attorney is another topic that should be addressed with elderly parents. This allows them to appoint someone to make medical or financial decisions for them if they become incapacitated.

Detecting scammers or financial fraud is another reason to discuss estate planning with your elderly parents. The elderly are susceptible to financial scams and these are often uncovered when setting up an estate plan.

A power of attorney allowing you to make financial decisions for them can reduce the risk of them becoming the victim of a financial scammer.