NJTroy Posted August 18, 2015 Report Share Posted August 18, 2015 A couple of people in the Class of 2017 thread mentioned concerns about elderly parents being left behind while on the road. I originally started this post over there, but then thought it was really an issue for all of us and probably deserved its own thread. My DH & I have more experience on this front than most as we managed the very complex issues my parents faced during the last two years of their life. They had complications on almost every front, medical, financial and legal. We've done our best to learn from their/our experience and if I can help anyone avoid some of the issues we faced I would be very happy. Please, chime in with other thoughts and experiences that would help. Our goal is to make our own issues be as manageable for our children as we possibly can. 1) Make sure that the legal paperwork your parents will need for you to support them is in place before you go. Three major documents should be prepared, an updated will, a durable power of attorney and a healthcare directive. For assisting them, these last two are invaluable. The healthcare directive (sometimes called a living will) will give them a chance to state what kind of care they want and what they want people to know during any major illness. The durable power of attorney is for you (or whoever will act when they are unable to act for themselves). This will help give you access to their doctors, finances and all other affairs. In our case, this meant that we were able to do everything from file police reports on their behalf, to sell their house, and to manage their healthcare when they were unable. This is a powerful document and the person designated as POA should be chosen carefully. If there are multiple siblings, it is incredibly important that the sibling with the POA have both the POA and healthcare directive in hand as well as keep all involved family members informed of their actions. These documents aren't cheap, but they are worth their weight in gold when you need them. In our case, literally as my parents were being robbed, didn't know it and DH and I recovered all of what those documents cost. 2) Make sure you have done the same for yourself. If you aren't ready to share POA, at least make sure that everyone knows who you have designated and that they have your full support if something happens. These documents should be drawn up in the state where you domicile. Unless it is absolutely necessary, don't designate co-POAs. In our situation, my sibling resided outside the country and when the time came to act, my sibling had to resign. Some financial institutions would not recognize his resignation creating more complications we didn't need. Oh, and don't keep these documents in a safe deposit box. Instead keep them in a fireproof, waterproof box and make sure the principals know where they are. Ask me how I know that one. 3) Have a list of their doctors and medications handy. This will help if their health deteriorates or for any reason they need some assistance. 4) Have a list of several people in their area who you can contact in an emergency. There may be situations when they need assistance before you can get there. Hopefully at least one or two of these people are the type that can be called any hour of day or night. 5) Make sure they have a current list of all their financial accounts, phone contacts, key contacts and any online information for all accounts, email, social media and financial. Make sure you know where they keep that list. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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