Thinking about the future can be overwhelming, especially if it means considering what life will be like after your parents pass away. Adult children with older parents will find it beneficial to look carefully at their estate planning documents to understand their wishes and reduce the chance for complications in the future. At some point, you will have the responsibility of settling your parents’ estate or managing their health care.
Many people make estate plans and then never look at them again. If your parents have not reviewed their plans in years or even decades, there is a strong likelihood they will need to make changes or adjustments. By taking the time to look over everything now, it will be less likely that you and your siblings will have to deal with additional complications months or years from now. Preparation is key, and having this conversation with your parents is essential.
Reviewing all documents
One important reason why it is important to look over estate plans is that state laws change over time. Plans based on outdated laws may no longer be applicable. Additionally, financial institutions may be reluctant to liquidate assets based on instructions left in decades-old documents. Carefully reviewing how the transfer of wealth will work can significantly reduce problems.
If your parents have changed attorneys, this may impact some of their estate plans as well. It may be necessary to have new forms drafted and signed. The legalese in many legal documents can be confusing as well, and it will be beneficial for you and other adult children to get an explanation of all the documents in layman terms. You will also find it helpful to discuss these things with your parents in-person, taking the time to understand their objectives and wishes.
A strong foundation
As life changes, so should many different types of estate planning documents. If there have been no adjustments to your parents’ plans over the years, it is important not to delay in reviewing and updating plans as quickly as possible. You also need to know the location of the physical documents in case of an unexpected situation. A valid, up-to-date estate plan can provide security and peace of mind for every member of the Ohio family.