This is the time every year that we decide what we are going to do differently in the coming year, how we are going to improve, what we are going to stop doing and what we are going to start. I’d to suggest some resolutions that would be very helpful to you and your elderly parents. Here they are;
Take the time to ask your parents how they met. Bring along a tape recorder or video camera and record their answers.
At the same meeting ask them how they want to be remembered by their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Again record their answers.
Schedule a family meeting with your parents, and your siblings to discuss the critical issues that your family will face as your parents get older.
Find out where your parents keep all their important papers and make sure they are safe. These important papers should include wills, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, life insurance policies and beneficiary statements for all annuities and retirement accounts.
Ask your parents to record the names of all bank accounts and investment accounts that they have. Ask them to include account numbers as well. Have them keep this information in the same place they keep their important papers.
If your parents have online accounts ask them to record the URL addresses of these accounts, their user names and their passwords. Again keep this info in the same place as their important papers.
If you complete these resolutions you will save your family much heartache and anxiety. You will also provide your parents with peace of mind, knowing that they have done the critical planning that will keep their family together.