Thanksgiving Day is almost upon us, and hopefully we will be spending this day and a meal with our family, friends, and loved ones. It’s wonderful to be able to reminisce about great memories from years gone by, and to make new memories for future generations to come.
Many of us don’t get together nearly as frequently as we want with our loved ones, sometimes just once or twice a year, and mainly around the holidays. Due to the fact we only see these loved ones a couple of times a year, we may be more alert and notice subtle changes in people’s demeanor; maybe someone is slightly more forgetful asking you to repeat things a bit more often, or maybe they’re not as steady on their feet as they were last time you saw them. That’s just human nature as we all get older, and probably they know it just as well as you do.
In my career in Wealth Management, it’s part of our process to always ask, “So what does your estate plan look like?” This question takes a different light as your family and clients get a bit older, and having parents in their early 80’s makes me look at things through a different lens.
Many clients, friends and family have taken all the necessary steps to ensure that their incapacity planning has been addressed, having worked with an attorney to create Powers of Attorney for health care and financial matters, but often our loved ones don’t feel comfortable having this conversation or just push back and say “when its necessary I’ll do it, but I’m fine right now.” When people have done all the proper planning their documents need to be reviewed periodically, as it’s typical that it’s been ten plus years that the documents have even been looked at! Lots of things can happen in a few short years; kids get married and have their own kids, friends retire and move to different parts of the country, etc. We want to make sure our loved ones wishes match up with their directives. If you see a change in your loved one, after the holidays set aside some time to speak with them and tactfully and caringly ask how they’ve prepared for their future. If they have, that’s great! If they haven’t or it’s been awhile since their documents have been reviewed, they can get the process started. Having this conversation is hard but by having it shows your true concern for their well-being.