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How can I help my aging parents with estate planning in Michigan?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Estate Planning

Not too long ago, your parents were the ones taking care of you. Whenever you needed them, they were there to guide your steps. Now, it’s time for you to step up and provide the same care they gave you all those years ago. This includes planning for their financial future and health care decisions in the event of their passing.

Estate planning involves more than just legal intricacies, though. It also requires emotional conversations and careful planning. Here are some ways you can help.

Assist your parents if they already have an estate plan

If your parents already have an estate plan, that’s a great start. However, it’s essential to revisit and review the plan periodically. Over time, your parents’ circumstances, state laws, and tax regulations may change, potentially impacting their estate plan.

Reviewing their existing wills, trusts or power of attorney documents ensures they are up-to-date and still reflect their wishes. Remember, this process isn’t about taking control but providing necessary support.

Take these steps if they don’t have an estate plan

If your parents don’t have an estate plan, there are several steps you can take:

  • Initiate a conversation: Discuss the importance of estate planning and address their concerns.
  • Understand their wishes: Learn what they want regarding their assets, health care directives and care if they become incapacitated.
  • Establish an estate plan: Assist them in setting up necessary legal documents like wills, trusts, or power of attorney, keeping Michigan laws in mind.
  • Regular reviews: Once the estate plan is in place, ensure it’s reviewed regularly and updated as necessary.

Many children avoid discussing estate plans with their parents. This can be due to fear of discussing death or the assumption that their parents have it all figured out. But if your goal is to respect your parents’ wishes and protect their assets, it’s crucial to have these discussions. 

Approach sensitive topics with empathy

Estate planning often involves discussing sensitive topics like end-of-life decisions and potential health issues. It’s crucial to approach these discussions with empathy and understanding. Be patient, listen to your parents’ concerns, and reassure them that you’re there to help.

If you need more assistance with complex matters, such as setting up trusts or understanding Michigan probate laws, consider consulting a legal professional. A legal professional can draft your parents’ estate plan, which meets all legal requirements.