There is no way around it; we all age. Sooner or later we will all need help, hopefully from our children. As we grow older and come to depend on others for more and more of our daily needs, it becomes necessary to sit down and discuss our plans and the elder law issues that may factor heavily into them. Elder law attorneys become especially relevant when elderly people get very old; basically the longer we live the more we need these attorneys to help us place our affairs in order.
In the case of children of elderly persons, it can be awkward to approach parents and discuss these issues. However, it is very important to have these discussions before they become old to make sound decisions. A lawyer can even help children form a strategy for how to broach these topics. He or she will be able to provide a comprehensive list of pivotal topics to discuss.
As for when approach aging parents, the time is always now. Issues like setting up estates, end of life decisions, and wills need to be settled ahead of time; otherwise the chances of litigation lawyers being needed increase. One way to approach them without too much awkwardness is in their own home, and with compassion. Focusing on caring for their needs and providing for the futures of their decedents will set them at ease. One of the most important reasons to have an elder law attorney is to avoid any conflicts over settling the estate in the future.
Here are some of the most important issues to discuss with aging parents: First, mobility issues, like whether or not the seniors have drivers' licenses. If they do still have them, it is important to make sure they know when to stop driving. If they kill or injure someone, the legal and moral repercussions can be quite severe. If they no longer should be driving, then someone must work out alternative methods of transportation so that they can retain their independence.
Other important issues are will and estate ones. These consist not only of creating a will, but also the decision to draw up a trust or not. These decisions can really be quite complex, and therefore they require a great deal of thought and consultation.
Finally, end of life concerns must be talked over in detail. These include discussing where they will want to live if and when they need assistance, funeral arrangements, and power of attorney over money.
These things are not easy to think about, let alone talk about; but with the help of an elder law attorney, it all becomes much easier.