In this Elder Law Minute, Kaye Dent explains how it’s necessary for everyone to have an estate plan, and DCEL is happy to assist!
Hi, I’m Katie Salms Dent with Dent Coulson Elder Law, here with an elder law minute for you. These videos are intended to educate you about the Elder Care Journey, which begins earlier in life than you might think. We hope that you find them useful, and if you have further questions, please call us at Dent Coulson Elder Law.
Today, we’re going to talk about how you convince aging parents to get their estate plans in order. When I was coming up with topics, I thought, you know, I’m going to ask my audience, ‘What do you want to hear about in these elder law minutes?’ And one of my friends on Facebook replied, ‘Tell me how to convince my parents to get their estate plan in order.’ Well, good luck, and in all honesty, often those parents are my clients. But it’s also not uncommon for children who, I say children lightly, children who are my age in their 50s or maybe a little bit younger, want their parents to come in to get things in order because they realize Mom and Dad don’t have a will, or they have a will that still talks about having minor children 25 years ago, or their powers of attorney are very outdated. Maybe they don’t have powers of attorney. And these are not easy conversations to have.
But they’re not necessarily bad conversations to have either. What I tell all of my clients is that everyone over the age of 18, or really, everyone as of their 18th birthday, needs to have at least Powers of Attorney in place. So, if you’re in your 60s, 70s, and 80s, you absolutely need to have an estate plan in place. And the estate plan that you developed in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or even 50s, if you’re in your 60s, 70s, and 80s, may not be the estate plan that you still need. Your family has changed. You have another generation or possibly two. Probably your children, again, are no longer children. Your assets may have changed, and your health may be declining. You may be concerned now about asset protection and about what’s going to happen to my money if I need long-term care.
Those are discussions that your parents should be having with an elder law attorney to make certain that their existing plans are in order and certainly to get plans if they don’t already have plans. How you bring this up is going to vary family by family. But what I can tell you in my experience is that your parents need to find somebody that they trust and that they like. My firm has this website so that hopefully you get to know me and my law partner Wes Coulson a little bit, and you can decide if we might be the people for you to at least come and consult with.
There are other ways that your parents could meet potential attorneys, and that might be through browsing websites, signing up might be through workshops like we host at Dent Coulson Elder Law, and it might be through talking with other friends and family. But do make certain that they get with somebody that they trust that will actually advise them on the full consequences of their estate plans. One of the pitfalls that I’ve seen recently a lot is people having older estate plans on which they weren’t advised about funding. Funding means titling of your assets because you might have a will that says, ‘I leave everything to my children in equal shares,’ but if your assets all have payable on death designations that go to a maybe a second spouse, your kid’s step-parent, and you die before that step-parent, your kids are getting nothing, and your spouse is getting everything. So, your estate plan doesn’t just involve documents, and it doesn’t just involve signing on the dotted line. It also involves titling your assets properly and making sure that everything works in order.
If you are interested in consulting with Dent Coulson Elder Law for yourself or possibly introducing us to your parent to convince them to get things in order, we’d love to hear from you.
Also looking for information about Medicaid and Asset Preservation? Visit these articles:
“Your Trusted Advisor on the Elder Care Journey”
Dent-Coulson Elder Law is dedicated to providing families in the St. Louis area with their Elder Law needs. Our practice areas include Asset Preservation Planning, Veterans Benefits, Medicaid Eligibility, Alzheimer’s Planning, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning and more. We understand the financial challenges you may face as you and your loved ones grow older. At Dent-Coulson Elder Law, our clients’ well-being is our number one priority. For immediate help, call (618) 632-7000 (IL) or (314) 567-9292 (MO), or Contact Us and we will get in touch as soon as possible.