It’s the open-door conversation no one really wants to have—discussing important financial decisions with the older generation. Yet plans need to be made and issues need to be brought to light with regards to important documents, having emergency contacts in place, and keeping your long-term care insurance current. Let’s take a look at what to bring to the table once the conversational door is open.
Talk to your loved one about important documents. What should happen if he or she becomes ill or unable to make decisions for themselves? Do they have a will? What about an advance directive or a power of attorney? These are good places to begin. If they do not have these documents prepared, hiring an attorney and having all three documents drawn up is the next step. If they do have these documents in place, check the information to make sure it is still accurate.
In addition to having important documents written and updated, be sure to have someone appointed as a financial contact for investment accounts. In the event your loved one has been hospitalized or becomes ill and unable to monitor their accounts, a financial contact acts as an emergency contact. These contacts cannot access any accounts, however, if the firm or financial advisor has concerns about certain behavioral changes or are unable to get in touch with their client directly, a financial contact authorizes the advisor to get in touch with this secondary person about these issues.
Long Term Care
We don’t want anyone to experience a cognitive decline, serious physical limitation, or an extended hospital stay, which is why your long-term care insurance policy is extremely important to keep up to date. Whether your policy was purchased a while ago or just recently, check your policy records to make sure you have accurate information this includes updating the contact information for a third party. This unintended lapse contact is notified in the event your policy is in danger of cancellation. Keeping your policy active is vital, so it’s ready when you need the benefits. Ironically, the insured needs the policy benefits when they are at their most vulnerable to missing a payment or requesting policy benefits.
Put Your Loved Ones At Ease
It’s never easy to have these conversations with our loved ones as they grow older. Most don’t want to be seen as elderly and they’ll fight to retain their independence for as long as possible. While it’s important to encourage their independence, it’s also important to plan for the unexpected. For the older generation, this creates an opportunity to be heard and respected. For those initiating the conversation, this brings a sense of peace and comfort by having plans in place to avoid the unexpected. Try chatting about important topics casually rather than making a big to-do. Ease them into the conversation and let it grow naturally from there.
A resource that might help the conversation along is the book “How to Say It to Seniors: Closing the Communication Gap with Our Elders” by David Solie. This book aids in bridging the communication gap between the younger and older generations. Starting the conversation is the most difficult part. If you approach the subject in a kind, relatable, and respectful manner, it will go much smoother than you think.
At Organized Instincts, our seasoned team of daily money managers can help you get the conversation going. Schedule a free consultation today and open the door to financial peace for older friends and family.