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A 2007 study by Princeton, Harvard and Federal Reserve researchers indicated that financial decision-making ability begins to decline in our mid-50s; however, many people have a difficult time discussing important financial matters with aging parents, even though they believe doing so is important.

Here are two essential conversations you need to have with aging parents as soon as possible:

Healthcare – the largest expense later in life is for healthcare, and with costs continuing to rise, having a plan for medical, disability and long-term care is critical to help protect assets. Talk to your elderly parent about doing a thorough assessment of their healthcare coverage, which should probably include Medicare and supplemental policies. If they are not yet retired, discuss disability insurance. And since most Americans will need long-term care at some point in their lives, it’s also time to help them plan for this, whether through long-term care insurance or other options. They also need to have named a healthcare agent to make medical decisions on their behalf in case they are unable to do so at some point.

Estate planning – if your parents have not created an estate plan, it is time to talk about doing that. At the very least, they need to have a will and designated powers of attorney for healthcare and financial decisions in case of incapacitation. An Irvine estate planning attorney can provide you with the proper guidance for this conversation, and assist you in discussing these important decisions with your family.

The Flanigan Law Group provides Southern California residents with personal attention for estate planning, administration and litigation legal services. When disputes between families, arise, they are very successful in resolving legal estate issues quickly and efficiently while preserving financial and emotional resources. Contact the Flanigan Law Group at 949-450-0042.