Helping Your Aging Parents: A Checklist

checklist aging parents phoenix

When we set out to help our aging parents prepare for their retirement years and beyond, there is a lot to remember. Use this checklist to ask questions of, and gather important information from your parents. Once this is completed, you can relax knowing that no matter what the future holds, your parents are prepared and protected.

Finances

• Gather information about all accounts and where they are held
• Get contact information for their advisers (insurance agent, attorney, financial, etc.)
• Check to see if any accounts can be consolidated or simplified
• Make sure the accounts are titled correctly
• Offer to sit in on a meeting with their financial adviser. Review investments and the asset allocation. You can also make sure there are enough resources to support your parents’ lifestyle
• Review Social Security benefits
• Make sure all beneficiary designations are up-to-date
• Simplify bill paying by setting up automatic payments or offering to help them with this task

Legal documents

• Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for finance?
• Do they have an up-to-date durable power of attorney for health care and mental health care?
• Does their health care power of attorney contain a health-care directive that spells out their wishes for life-prolonging care?
• Have they made a will and updated it through the years and does it still reflect their wishes?
• Does the will pass property to individuals in the correct way?

Insurance Review

• Make a list of all insurance policies (life, health, long-term care, etc.) and where they are located
• Get contact information for their advisers (insurance agent, attorney, financial, etc.)
• Offer to set up a meeting with their insurance adviser to see if a long-term care insurance policy would be appropriate
• Make sure all insurance policies have appropriate coverage and deductibles and consider adding a Medigap policy

Coordinate healthcare

• Make a list of all their doctor’s names and contact information
• Get an updated list of any medications they are taking
• Understand and help coordinate benefits between care providers and insurance companies, if any

Housing and care at home

• Is their current housing situation suitable and safe or are there changes, updates or modifications needed?
• What is their plan for handling the illness or disability of a spouse?
• Is there money available to pay for those plans (i.e. long-term care insurance or savings)?

This can be a challenging time in life when you are becoming a parent to your parent. But, if you tackle the project in a straightforward and helpful manner, you’ll be able to relax knowing that things are in order. Don’t forget, get your own affairs organized too so that you don’t leave a lot of chaos for your own children. Proper planning will give peace of mind to everyone, help avoid family conflict and lessen the financial impact on everyone involved.

See anything missing? Comment and let us know what you think. Or call us at 480-832-3000. We’re happy to provide support for you as you provide support to your parents.

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