Many people in San Diego and throughout the country find themselves in the “sandwich generation.” They have children at home with all their issues, problems, and needs and they also have aging parents who have their own issues, problems, and needs. By some estimates, as many as 16 – 18 million people have the dual responsibility of caring for their elderly parents and their own young children. How do you approach your parents to discuss such things as an estate plan, health care directives, and planning for possible long term care?
One website uses the acronym TEMPO for advice on the talks that you should have with your parents. Topics that need to be addressed are long term health care, advance health care directives, a will or a trust in place, and their wishes about end of life issues.
T- Timing. It important to choose a good time to talk about such issues.
E- Experiences. One way to break the ice is to talk about your own experiences and feelings about estate planning, end of life issues, etc. Get an estate plan done yourself or if you already have one, talk about your experience and reasons for getting it done.
M – Motivation. Make sure you are clear about your motives in having the discussion. Some parents may be reluctant to discuss such issues if they feel you are trying to influence them rather than just being concerned. Emphasize that you are not having the discussion because you don’t think they will have a long life but just to be sure plans are in place before any emergency occurs.
P – Place. A public place or at a family reunion would not be an ideal place to discuss such issues. They should be discussed in a private, comfortable setting.
O-Outcome. The outcome should be the culmination of your goals in having the discussion, ie. opening up a safe, honest dialogue about potential issues they may have to face and seeing that those issues are addressed.
Once you have had the discussion to help your parents focus on what needs to be done as far as estate planning is concerned, feel free to contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation if we can help. Our first consultation is always free.