The holiday season typically brings family members to the table who may be absent throughout the year. Considering that all family members may be in the same place at the same time, many experts believe the holiday season is the perfect time of year to disclose or make an estate plan. Michigan families may be hesitant to broach the subject, yet it may be necessary to do so sooner rather than later. There are helpful ways to begin the conversation and to ensure an estate plan for elderly parents is handled correctly.

When it comes to handling decisions involving elderly parents, one tip is for adult siblings to discuss the status of parental care or the status of an estate before having a family discussion with the parents. This can ensure all siblings are aware of the situation and no one feels out of the loop. If the idea is overwhelming or difficult to express, simply expressing concerns about medical and financial matters can get the conversation going.

It is important for all family members involved to be aware of any existing plan. If elderly parents have already made a plan, it may need to be updated, and the elderly parents may be unaware of that fact. Those affected should review those documents and discuss any need to update or add to an existing estate plan.

Each Michigan family will inevitably have varying needs when it comes to an estate plan. However, there are essential documents everyone should have. If the holidays work best for a family, adult children may want to inquire which documents may meet the needs of the family and ensure all legal matters involving elderly parents are up to date; it is also important to disclose the locations of those documents in case of emergency.

Source:, “The Holidays can facilitate an opportunity for estate planning conversations”, Dec. 14, 2015

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