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Things that heirs should address with aging parents

It is generally uncomfortable for people to discuss topics relating to their loved ones' potential physical and emotional decline as they age. However, these conversations can be vital, as they can allow people to make plans and decisions that outline their wishes about how their personal affairs are governed as they age. Many in Georgia create plans in conjunction with their heirs in order to solidify these wishes and remove any ambiguity regarding their desires.

Something that is often overlooked is the feasibility of living arrangements as people grow older. While a multi-story home may have been perfect throughout most of their lives, many find these types of homes unmanageable as they age. Creating a plan for this transition early, before issues arise, can help all parties ease into another living arrangement.

In addition, updating essential documents, such as wills and life insurance, can be difficult to address but necessary. The general rule is to update wills or other important documents every five years in order to reflect a benefactor's current wishes. These desires can change quickly based on changing familial connections or other circumstances. It is important for any major life changes to be reflected in both wills and beneficiary designations.

Though it may seem simplistic, it is essential that important documents should be gathered in a place accessible to the desired heirs. Finances may need to be discussed explicitly, such as retirement planning, payment of debts, pensions, bank, savings and other accounts. It could be beneficial to keep a copy of all account user names and passwords, tax files, and car or land titles in a safe place.

While it is uncomfortable to contemplate or plan for, taking steps early could be an essential way to ease familial burdens as a parent of other loved one ages. It may benefit those in Georgia to seek counsel from attorneys who are experienced in estate planning. An attorney in this area of law will be able to discuss various legal options available to ensure a client's wishes are carried out and assets are distributed appropriately.

Source: idahoseniorindependent.com, "How to talk to aging parents about the future", Accessed on Oct. 26, 2016

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