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Home Blog Caring for an Aging Parent? You are not alone.

Caring for an Aging Parent? You are not alone.

Daughter talking with aging mother

For many people, one of the most difficult conversations to have involves talking with an aging parent about declining health. The shifting of roles often creates strong emotions. Family dynamics can also lead to tension when siblings don’t all agree on the best course of action. 
All too often, critical conversations don’t occur until problems have arisen, and sometimes they never happen at all. Over the years, we’ve helped many families navigate these conversations. Here are a few tips we’d like to share with you: 

1. Start the conversation early. The earlier you can begin to have open communication, the more likely you will have the information you need when and if a crisis occurs. Have these conversations before you start to see signs like fluctuations in weight, new health issues and diminished social interaction. 

2. Understand the key parties involved. Know who your parents’ key professionals are, including their: 

a. Primary physician. 
b. Specialists. 
c. Attorney. 
d. CPA. 
e. Wealth Advisor/Trust Officer/Financial Advisor/Insurance Agent. 

3. Locate important documents. Often, if your parent already works with trusted professionals, they will have an inventory of important information.  Help your parent confirm their important estate planning documents are current and retained in a safe place. These may include: 

a. A Health Care Power of Attorney.   
b. A Financial Power of Attorney. 
c. A Last Will and Testament. 
d. A Trust. 

4. Consider updates to existing documents. If your parent is willing to provide access to their professionals, talk through the plan with them and ensure you understand your parent’s wishes as well as where you play a role in the plan. If your parent’s mental ability is declining, it is imperative that you understand the plan even more as it may be too late to make changes without Court intervention. 

5. Reach out for help. We are here for you. We have helped many clients and their families transition through life seasons and can help provide clarity in uncertain situations. Our fiduciary team regularly serves as an agent under a financial power of attorney or court-appointed Conservator. Also, many times we take over as Trustee of one’s Revocable Trust when they are no longer able to do so themselves. This allows us to efficiently and professionally manage the financial side for the aging parent while family and friends can focus on providing emotional support.  
By treating your parent with love and respect, and opening the conversation, you can help provide them safety and security during this next season of life.  
We’re here to help. We’ve helped many families navigate the changing seasons in life. Call us at 641-422-1600 or email to discuss questions regarding planning for aging parents.  

Products provided by First Citizens Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC, are not deposits of the bank and are not guaranteed by this institution; and, are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal invested. Please note that neither First Citizens Bank nor the First Citizens Wealth Management Department provide tax or legal advice.


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