Having the talk is hard. I’m referring to the talk that is inevitably held between adult children and their parents to include any other close relatives. The talk is frequently centered around a sensitive subject that will affect the entire family.
Perhaps people have noticed early signs of memory loss or confusion in a loved one. There could be a recent diagnosis affecting competency or cognition. Big words like Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, or Long-term care begin to have real meaning and stir up feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and helplessness. The family dynamic is known to shift, and family members can diverge in thought and action.
Even in light of the above, the talk is necessary. A family’s strength comes, in part, from the selflessness of its members. That same selflessness requires that we set aside our reactive, ego-centric nature.
Anyone can initiate or host the talk. However, it is best practice to refrain from imposing your own personal desires. Coming from a place of awareness, understanding, and support will set the stage to ensure you and your loved ones are equipped to make informed decisions. The best interest of our loved ones is the overriding theme.
But, how do we define “best interest?” Reasonable people can disagree on what that means. Maybe everyone disagrees. The talk is important just the same because decision making requires information and information is obtained through communication.
In having the talk, consider several important questions:
What estate planning documents are in place, if any?
Is our loved one competent? What does that mean exactly? Is guardianship necessary?
What will I leave behind and where will it go?
Who are the appointed decision makers while I’m alive? Are those decision makers ready and able?
What legal options are available to protect assets?
What happens if long-term care is needed? How will we pay for it?
What legal impact might this have on a retirement or savings?
What happens to me if something happens to my spouse?
What happens next?
The answers to many of these questions begin to materialize with the benefit of legal counsel.
The Attorneys at McIntyre Elder Law can serve as your guide through the legal maze and address issues head on. We aim to inform and empower clients to make informed decisions. In turn, that makes having “the talk” a little easier. Reach out today at 888-999-6600 or visit us a our website at mcelderlaw.com to schedule your free consultation today.
Estate Planning & Elder Law Attorney