Ask Aging Parents These Questions

The Marchand Advisory Group of Raymond James recently published a list of important questions that you should ask your parents before there is an emergency.

Financial

Where are the financial assets? Ask you parents to create a list of their bank, brokerage and retirement account, including online user names and passwords.  If they are reluctant to share personal financial information, ask them to keep the list in a safe place, that you can find later, rather than giving it to you now.

Where are the documents? Have you parents tell you where they file their insurance policies, Social Security cards, deeds to their real estate, car titles and tax returns.  If that place is a safety deposit box, make sure you have access to it in case of emergency.

Estate Planning

Ask your parents if they have a durable power of attorney and who is named to manage the money if they are disabled or incompetent. Ask if there is a medical power of attorney for end of life decisions and have a discussion with them about what kind of care they want, or DO NOT want.

Find out if there are wills or a trust and where those are kept.  Determine if these documents need to be updated while your parents are still able to do so.

Health

          What doctors do you see?

          What medication do you take?

          What health insurance do you have?

Final Arrangements

Find out if your parents have pre-planned or prepaid for their funerals.  If so, find out where those arrangements have been made.  If no plans are in place, find out how they would like those to be handled.

Feel free to contact our office for free planning forms you can use to make notes about financial, medical and funeral decisions – your parents or yours!

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Legal Strategies, P.C. 

Terri North is the Macomb County, Michigan attorney who heads up the Legal Strategies practice. Legal Strategies assists clients in the areas of estate planning, probate and real estate. 
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