By Carol ChurchIn part 1 of this series, we talked about the important reasons why adult children need to talk about money and finances with aging parents. In this follow-up, we’ll get more specific as to how to make this conversation a little easier, as well as what to discuss.brfcs via Pixabay.com, CC0Experts suggest having this conversation on parents’ “home turf” at a time that is relaxed and neutral. This means avoiding big occasions like holidays, if possible. It may also be better to have a series of short talks rather than one long discussion. Children probably want to bring up the topic in advance so parents don’t feel blindsided and have a little time to prepare, talk amongst themselves, and locate documents.Consider who should be included. Would spouses of adult children be a good addition, or not? On the one hand, they may be seen as intruders, but on the other, their presence may motivate people to be polite.If parents are resistant, it may help to say that this topic is concerning you and that having the conversation will help you and allow you not to worry. Most mothers and fathers want their children to feel happy and will be at least somewhat open to this.Topics to Cover:Talk about how to know where the information isThere are many important documents whose location someone will eventually need to know. While it is not necessary for adult children to see and view all these items ahead of time, they at least need to know where to find a letter of instructions that explains where this information is. These essential papers and details include, but are not limited to:Marriage licenses, divorce papers, birth and death certificatesInsurance policies (health, life, and property)Social security cards and documentsBank account numbers and detailsInvestment and retirement account numbers and detailsHouse deed and mortgage informationFuneral and burial wishes, including details such as burial plot purchasesElectronic account details, such as a list of important passwords and sites frequently usedMilitary records and discharge papersCredit card account information, as well as account information for other recurring bills and accountsMake sure essential plans have been madeThe best-case scenario is for older adults to have all of the following in place. By the way, this applies to adult children, too. It may strengthen your case if you can tell them you have your own “house” in order.A willDying without a will leads to many complications for family members and can tie up assets for a long period during the probate process. Dying intestate (with no will) also means one cannot make any specifications as to what is done with money and belongings; the court makes these decisions based on the laws of your state.A health care proxyA healthcare proxy is a legal document designating someone to make healthcare decisions for a person who is not able to make decisions for her or himself. While these decisions may include deciding when to end life support, they also cover other choices about health care, such as where the person will receive care, what procedures he or she will have, and so on.A durable power of attorney for financesSimilar to a healthcare proxy, but for finances, this legal document names someone who can access the money and financial information of a person who is not competent to do so him or herself. If a POA has not been appointed and someone is no longer competent, a court will have to appoint someone to take on this task.A generalized estate planThough many families may think their assets are too few to require any assistance, experts advise that most people will benefit from creating a formal estate plan with the assistance of a financial planner. In some cases, a lawyer’s help will also be needed. Various DIY and online options also exist, but they may or may not be adequate or customized to your state.Talk more broadly about the financial situationIt’s often important to ensure that parents have enough money to get by and are not in danger of outliving their assets, even if major medical costs come their way. What will happen if they need daily in-home care? What if they need to move to a community that offers more services? Do they have long-term care insurance or sufficient assets to pay for this, or might it be necessary for them to move in with children, sell the house (or get a reverse mortgage) or get financial help from family? How do they feel about the various living options?On the flip side, if there are substantial assets, or if family has the belief that there are, it may be crucial to explain now what the situation is. For instance, perhaps trusts have been set up, a large charitable donation will be made, or a business will be split up or dissolved. Those with large estates may want to discuss strategies to avoid tax burden at the end of life.Another topic to discuss, if needed: how are they coping with organizing bills and papers and managing their financial needs? For some people, this is difficult at the best of times. For others, it has become overwhelming with age or poor health. They might welcome some assistance.Talk more generally about end of lifeThis is not a “money” topic, but usually ends up intertwined with these concerns due to the likelihood that those addressing a will and other estate issues will also consider end of life wishes. Encourage parents to talk about what they want as far as healthcare measures and to make those wishes known via a living will or advance directive. One easy place to get started is Five Wishes.Again, these conversations may not be easy. The subject is tempting to want to avoid, and no time may feel like the right time to bring it up. But talking about these issues now will make matters much easier later on. The resources below may help.Resources:Family Caregiver AllianceFive WishesThe Conversation ProjectA Place for Mom: Financial DiscussionsReferences:Fowler, K. (2016). Caring for Elderly Parents’ Estate and Finances. Retrieved from http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2-17-16-caring-for-elderly-parents-finances/Gillen, M., Mitchell, V., & Turner, J. (2015). Estate planning. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy446Goetting, M., & Schmall, V. (2017). Talking with aging parents about finances. Retrieved from http://msuextension.org/publications/FamilyFinancialManagement/MT199324HR.pdfLawrence, B. Want control at the end of your life? Here’s what you need. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/decisions-future-documents-need-2/National Endowment for Financial Education. (2017). Prepare for Financial Changes as Family Members Ag. Retrieved from https://www.smartaboutmoney.org/Topics/Retirement-and-Aging/Aging-and-Money/Financial-Changes-as-Family-Members-AgeMerrill Edge. (n.d.) 5 tips for talking with your aging parents about their finances and health. Retrieved from https://www.merrilledge.com/article/5-tips-talking-with-your-aging-parents-about-their-finances-and-health
A Delhi court on Thursday transferred the case against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor in the matter of the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar to a designated fast-track court.Metropolitan Magistrate Dharmendra Singh transferred the case to the designated court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal as per a Supreme Court judgment which said that cases against politicians would be heard by a fast-track court, and fixed May 28 as the date for further proceedings.“Since he is a sitting Member of Parliament, matter is being sent to the special designated court for politicians, that is ACMM Samar Vishal. Matter be taken up on May 28,’’ Mr. Singh said.The Delhi police had on May 14 accused Mr. Tharoor of abetting Pushkar’s suicide, and chargesheeted him under Sections 498A (husband or his relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. While Section 498A entails maximum punishment of three years in prison, Section 306 attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years.The MP had termed the chargesheet “preposterous” and said that he intends to contest it “vigorously”.The court is yet to take cognisance of the chargesheet and summon Mr. Tharoor.
Hip fractures occur as a result of major or minor trauma. In elderly patients with bones weakened by osteoporosis, relatively little trauma, even walking, may result in a hip fracture.Review Date:6/22/2012Reviewed By:A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery (9/22/2011).
Four stories in the news for Monday, Aug. 19———CHINESE OFFICIALS FIRE BACK AT FREELAND OVER HONG KONGChina is telling Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to butt out. Freeland and her E.U. counterpart, Federica Mogherini, issued a joint statement Saturday condemning violence in Hong Kong as tensions between pro-democracy protesters and police escalate. The statement urged restraint amid “a rising number of unacceptable violent incidents.” And that prompted a spokesperson for China’s Embassy in Canada to fire back, telling Freeland to “immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs.” The embassy also defended the actions of Hong Kong police, saying the protests “deteriorated and evolved into extreme violence.”———JUDGE TO GIVE DECISION IN MOUNTIE’S MANSLAUGHTER TRIALA judge is expected to render a verdict today in the manslaughter trial of an RCMP officer in northern Manitoba who fired a dozen shots into a Jeep following a police chase. Crown prosecutors told the trial in Thompson that Const. Abram Letkeman made only wrong choices in the lead up to the shooting death of Steven Campbell in 2015. Court heard that 12 bullet casings were found at the scene and the 39-year-old Campbell, who was drunk behind the wheel, was hit at least nine times. The defence argued that all police officers make mistakes and Letkeman thought his life was in danger because the Jeep was moving toward him.———CAPTIVE BREEDING FOR ENDANGERED SPECIES GROWINGA western painted turtle that’s never been anywhere other than in an aquarium is being returned to a pond near Langley, B.C., as part of captive breeding at the Greater Vancouver Zoo to help save an endangered native population. The program is one of a growing number across Canada, last-ditch efforts to stave off local extinctions of everything from butterflies to caribou. Captive breeding programs vary widely. Some release young born to captive animals, some collect eggs from the wild and return the hatchlings, while others protect pregnant females until they give birth. But despite all the good intentions there are some who fear the programs can become sops to a public concerned about species loss, yet not concerned enough to change how it acts.———ATWOOD STAR OF FALL SEASON, SAY BOOK WATCHERSIndustry watchers say it’s the international literary event of the season, and in a rare feat, the spotlight will be on a Canadian author. With Margaret Atwood’s long-awaited sequel to 1985’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” to hit shelves on Sept. 10, the publisher and booksellers say the hype for “The Testaments” has already translated into strong preorders, early awards acclaim and sold-out events to celebrate the release. Atwood will ring in the book’s midnight launch at an event in London, England, that will be beamed to more than 1,000 screens worldwide, including in Cineplex theatres across Canada. She’ll then set off on a book tour that includes 10 Canadian stops.———ALSO IN THE NEWS:— Small Business minister Mary Ng in Fredericton to announce investments in women entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada.— Vice Admiral Mark Norman trial begins in Ottawa.— Andrew Berry stands trial in Vancouver for the second-degree murder of his daughters.— Environment Minister Catherine McKenna in Victoria to announce support for Canada’s conservation efforts and fight against climate change. The Canadian Press