I would be happy to talk to your group concerning family talks.
A lot of things can go bump in the night. This checkup will give you an idea how well you’re prepared. It’s from my book A Short and Happy Guide to Elder Law. Stepping on my royalties, but, hey, for you…
Questions concerning needed Documents
Due to a physical or mental disability, someone in your family might not be able to make good decisions. Do you have documents that will help?
Medical decisions: Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney
Financial decisions: Joint accounts, Living Trusts
Questions concerning estate planning
Any changes in your family, divorces, remarriages, births of children or grandchildren, that may impact on your Will, Trusts, or IRAs? Have you reviewed your Will or Trust in last five years? Is there someone, like a grandchild or mentally disabled relative, you would like to give money to but hesitate fearing they would waste it?
Questions concerning a family conversation?
Have you talked with your family about the elephant in the room, possible disability, funerals, and end-of-life decisions? These difficult conversations are the best gift you can give your family. See “A Family Talk”.
Questions concerning quality of life
Some folks have a tough time in retirement, lying around the house all day, losing it either physically or mentally. It’s a bad mistake to think this is an inevitable part of aging. Often a lot can be done to improve their quality of life.
Questions concerning home care
Has your home been made as safe as possible?
If you are caring for someone, are you getting enough rest?
If you are being cared for by your daughter or son, do your other children know how expensive and difficult it is? Do you know caregivers may be entitled to a tax break?
Have you considered moving to a retirement home?
Questions concerning health
Any problems with sleeping or hearing? Memory loss? Drug or alcohol use?
Questions raising touchy points
Is anyone in your family still driving when you think they shouldn’t be?
Are there guns in the house? (Suicide is always possible.)
Do you fear that a relative may be abused? Can you visit, alone?
Are you considering divorce or remarriage?
As to phone solicitations, have you gone to “Do-Not-Call”? Have you learned to hang up and be impolite?
Didn’t the African King send you the $13 million? Have you been scammed?
Questions re grandchildren
If you are raising your grandchildren do you have documents authoring you to deal with doctors and schools? Have you considered adoption so that the decision to return the child to the parents is yours, not theirs? Have you contacted Social Security concerning possible support?
Questions concerning last illnesses
If an aged relative is in the hospital have you and the doctors confronted the possibility of death? DNRs? Whether surgery and continued treatment are the best options? Have you considered hospice, not just in the last week of life, but in the last six months of life?