It’s not uncommon for adult children to have to face a parent’s physical or cognitive decline, hospital stays, and end of life care. Adult children are often tasked with handling financial affairs and other preparations during an emotional and stressful time.
Seniors Matter’s recent article entitled “How do I handle my father’s financial matters now that he’s in hospice?” says that caring for a sick family member is a challenging and emotional time. Because of this major task, it is easy to put financial considerations on the back burner. Nonetheless, it is important to address a few key issues.
If a family member is terminally ill or admitted to hospice – and you are able to do so – it may be a good idea to start by helping to take inventory of your family member’s assets and liabilities. A clear idea of where their assets are and what they have is a great starting point to help you prepare and be in a better position to understand your parent’s financial affairs and manage the estate.
An inventory may include any and all of the following:
- Real estate
- Bank accounts
- Cars, boats and other vehicles
- Stocks and bonds
- Life insurance
- Retirement plans (such as a 401(k), a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA and a SEP IRA);
- Wages and other income
- Business interests
- Intellectual property; and
- Any debts, liabilities and judgments.
Next, find out what, if any, estate planning documents may be in place. This includes a will, powers of attorney, trusts, a healthcare directive and a living will. You will need to find the original Last Will and copies of the other documents. Get in touch with your parent’s Estate Planning Attorney to ensure you have the latest versions of these documents.
This is hard to do while a loved on is dying, but it can make the aftermath easier and less stressful.
Reference: Seniors Matter (Feb. 22, 2022) “How do I handle my father’s financial matters now that he’s in hospice?”