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How to discuss powers of attorney with your aging parent

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2022 | Estate Planning |

It can be difficult to talk with your aging parent about naming a power of attorney. You may feel like you are pressuring them or that they will be offended. 

However, it is important to have this conversation sooner rather than later. We will discuss why you need to speak with your parents about why they should name someone as a power of attorney (POA) and how you can make the process as smooth as possible.

Why your parent needs to name a power of attorney

As our parents age, it’s natural to start thinking about what will happen if they become unable to care for themselves. This is a difficult conversation for many of us, but it’s essential to start planning for the future. If your parent is open to the idea, you may want to consider discussing both financial and medical POAs.

A durable POA allows someone to make medical or financial decisions on behalf of your parent, including decisions about their medical care and financial affairs. It’s a big responsibility, but it can give you peace of mind knowing that you can protect your parent if they become unable to care for themselves. 

This discussion can be difficult to broach with an aging parent. Here are a few tips for how to approach the topic:

  • Try to have this conversation when both you and your parent feel relaxed and clearheaded. This isn’t a discussion to have during a crisis.
  • Be respectful and understanding of your parent’s feelings as it may be difficult for them to admit they may need help in the future.
  • Come prepared with some information about POA options and resources to help ease your parent’s fears and allow them to make an informed decision about what is best for them.

As children, we find it challenging to reverse roles as our parents age. It is also difficult for parents to accept that they are aging and may be physically or mentally declining. Having a conversation on POA now will give both of you peace of mind for the future.