For many families, the holiday season is the time of year when branches scattered across the country or even around the world come together. Adult children who live far away bring the grandchildren to see their grandparents. Cousins reconnect with one another and with older relatives. Are you planning on going home for the holidays? For parents whose adult children are coming to visit, the annual time of togetherness may also provide an opportunity to have important conversations best begun in person rather than over the phone. If you are not sure where to begin, three key points to include may be any plans you are making for your future, important estate planning topics your children should be aware of, and whether you would like to start scheduling more regular check-ins about these things.
- Planning for the Future. Your adult children may not know if you intend to retire, or what you would like to do in your golden years. They might assume you intend to move closer to them to help care for grandchildren, whereas you and your spouse are planning to embark on more frequent travel or spending time in pursuit of a hobby you have not had the chance to properly enjoy. You may be planning to sell the family home where your children grew up and need them to decide what to do with anything they have left behind. Whatever your plans, discussing the future is an important conversation to have with your adult children.
- Creating or Updating Your Estate Plan. As you plan for your future, you may need to update your current estate plan to reflect those plans. If you have not done much estate planning, this should be a high priority item on your checklist. Discussing what you intend to do with your estate with your adult children now can be critical to avoid hurt feelings down the road. It can also help your children to know now what is going to happen, so there is no confusion when the time comes to implement what is in your estate plan.
- Making Time for Frequent Check-Ins. Unfortunately, while texting is awfully convenient, and a way that many parents stay in more frequent contact with adult children, it may not be the best forum for honest, in-depth discussion of these topics. Deciding on a way to have more frequent check-ins by phone, video chat, or in person visits, if possible, can help keep the conversation going after the holidays have come to a close for the year.
Now is the time to discuss long term care plans for your parents, for the future. Medicaid planning in particular will help to help cover the cost of a nursing home. Failure to plan can easily lead you and your family to lose all of your assets on paying nursing home bills. Adult children, talk to your parents about this. Parents, talk to your adult children so they understand you want to plan forward and not have excessive nursing home bills. For help with Medicaid planning, please reach out to our office to schedule a meeting.