Hopefully your parents or relatives have sorted out the legal arrangements regarding any inheritance they wish to pass on and the practicalities of financing later life, as well as sorting out the support they might need from you and others. If not, then there are certainly a few legal matters to try and sort out ahead of time.
There are three important questions you should try and get answered with your parents, as they will influence some of the legal – and financial – decisions that may need to be taken:
- Where do you want to live if you have the choice?
- If you need care what kind of care would you like (at home, care home)
- Do you know how you will fund your later life and any care that you might need?
Our top recommendation is to ensure that your parents have written and/or updated a will and that you/someone knows where it is kept; almost two thirds of all adults in the UK do not have a Will and that you/someone knows where it is kept. Almost two thirds of adults in the UK do not have a Will, and we explain the situation of intestacy that occurs if someone dies without making one; thirdly we recommend that you encourage your parents to establish Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)for money and health and allied to the finance LPA we also suggest sorting out a third party mandate with the bank and other useful organisations.
This legal section covers the most important legal aspects you need to consider. However, we also recognise that if these are not in place when you might need them, having the conversations are probably the single hardest thing to achieve. Hard because no-one wishes to appear to be overly interested in “their inheritance” before the event, and somehow it seems at best insensitive and at worst morbid to be having such conversations.
All the advice suggests that having the conversations and planning ahead can be very positive for everyone and we can confirm that talking about making a Will does not advance death….. Establishing a power of attorney will enable your parents to fulfil their own wishes for medical and other support should they become unable to make their own decisions.