How are Grandma and Grandpa feeling this holiday season?
It is the time of year for holiday cheer and seeing relatives that you may not otherwise get to visit with on a regular basis. While you may be sitting by the fire unwrapping presents, this may also be a good time to step back and take a look at how your older relatives are doing. Does your elderly parent seem to be doing well? If you are recognizing the need for care in loved ones during the holiday season then it may be time to consider having a serious discussion regarding what plans they have made for their future.
Having difficult conversations now could avoid:
If having a conversation with your elderly parents seems like a difficult task to embark upon, consider the alternative of having to navigate the Court system to obtain the right to help them when they can no longer help themselves. If your elderly relative ends up in a state where they do not have capacity to sign off on legal documents then family members, or sometimes a close friend, can be forced to engage the Court to obtain a guardianship over the person.
State making decisions
In addition to checking with your elderly relative about whether they have the appropriate documents to help them during their lives, such as Powers of Attorney, it is important to make sure their wishes are laid out in an estate plan, whether that includes a Simple Will or a Trust. If your relative does not have any legal documents directing how they wish their worldly possessions to be distributed to their loved ones then the State has created an intestacy statute to make the decision for them. RSA 561:1 is the statute which directs how someone’s assets are distributed when they die without an estate plan, which can be read here.
What do I do if my loved one does not have estate planning documents?
If your loved one does not have their Powers of Attorney or a Will or a Trust, then now is the time to tackle the issue. Ask your loved one if they would like help in setting something up and connect them to our estate planning attorneys who will take the time to get to know them and their particular situation in order to give the best advice as to what is needed.
We serve the Greater Nashua area and are here to help. To meet with one of our experienced attorneys, please call us today at (603) 943-5647.