The Wall Street Journal reported on the The Difficult, Delicate, Untangling of Our Parents Financial Lives. It chronicles the arduous journey the author and his wife faced when they needed to help their parents. This also applies to couples who have divided and conquered the household and financial tasks.
Many of us already know this story, and I’m both happy and sad to see this issue getting more attention. I believe it all comes down to what we are going to do differently.
What I don’t see being addressed by the media or by the American Bar Association or any of the Estate Law or Elder Care groups is an education on the value of having a Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare Directives in place. These documents are meant for the living and really offer us a Plan B should we face even a temporary incapacity and want our loved ones to be able to truly help. So I am going to keep trying!
On that note, have you started to organize your own personal and financial affairs so that someone could help you and have you discussed these details with the person who you have named to step in and help? This is necessary to ensure you live the life you want.
Getting this done now gives you a lot more choices and makes it easier to have the discussion when a medical crisis isn’t looming. You can always download a free copy of the checklist of the key documents to get organized to get you started.
For a more meaningful gift for mom or dad this mother’s/father’s day, how about showing up and sharing with her YOUR plans and how she/he might be able to help you? Asking for advice is a great way to begin having this conversation and may give you the opportunity to learn a few things about mom and dad’s plans.
I have actually been surprised to hear from many clients that the children are refusing to have this conversation. I hope you aren’t one of them. Surprised.
If you want to get one of the books to help guide you through the process of getting organized, here are links to:
- MemoryBanc:Your Workbook for Organizing Life (on Amazon). If you want more than one copy, you should place your order at MemoryBanc.com (cheaper)
- MemoryBanc Register: A vegan-leather binder edition with a lifetime supply of free refills
- MemoryBanc Flash Drive: An editable, printable, and very portable edition for those who want a paperless solution.