Sometimes the idea of parenting isn’t just about kids, but also about your parents as well. When your mom and dad get past retirement age and into the ‘elderly’ category, there are a lot of decisions to be made, and the more you can communicate these details with each other early on, the better those decisions are going to be.
To make a point of this, consider living situation arrangements, the process of will-writing, moving financial resources around later in life, end-of-life care (like hospice, for example), and funeral arrangements. All of these can and should be dealt with when you are your parents are still both cognizant of consequences of decisions.
The classic living situation that lots of adults and their parents are happy with post-retirement age is moving into an assisted living facility. The staff members are going to be professional and well-versed in care-taking. The activities, food, and housing will all be transparent to regular review. And depending on mental and physical conditions, life will carry on as usual, if not better than before as situations regarding responsibility came and went.
Writing the Will
It’s important that everyone in a family has a handle on how to write a will. These have to make sense, be legally binding, and be completed while attitudes and a sense of mindfulness are still present. There’s no need for wills to be secretive, and the more open you are about talking to your parents about what kinds of things need to be settled as far as finances and property go, the less stress there’s going to be leading up to the final passing on, and then afterward.
Moving Financial Resources Around
There’s often some confusion about money and inheritance as well, when it comes to talking to your parents about details of later life. If you collectively don’t understand inheritance taxes, then you may end up losing a lot of cash unnecessarily from the general funds that you’ve set up during your lifetime.
At the very end stages of life, there’s the matter of quality over quantity, and the type of hospice care that makes the most sense for a person to have. Many hospitals are moving away from just trying to keep people alive, even though they’re suffering. Again, every parent should talk about this with their parents before it’s too late.
And one of the major decisions that you should talk about with your parents is also going to be funeral arrangements. These decisions can be very important to some families in terms of religious affiliation, or even the financial considerations of things like buying a coffin and a cemetery plot.