Helping aging parents in Lake Charles with estate planning

Most adult children in Lake Charles and throughout Louisiana (and the nation, for that matter) want to help their parents as best they can as they navigate their golden years. Many sons and daughters understand the importance of careful estate planning in this regard, yet some hesitate to broach the topic with their parents. Reasons for hesitating vary, but often include the fact that many people simply have a difficult time talking about mortality.

Most parents are typically better off having a set plan in place, especially if they are getting on in years and have been diagnosed with a chronic health condition. It is generally a good idea to execute a living will to provide instructions as to what type of life and death medical care a parent desires (or does not want). There are several ways to approach the topic with an elderly mother or father.

Some adult children use examples from other people in their parents' lives to open discussions. For instance, while visiting one's mother, a son or daughter could mention a friend's medical emergency and how glad he or she was that a living will had been signed ahead of time. Perhaps there would be other available examples regarding a durable power of attorney or other documents.

Hearing that estate planning has helped a friend in Lake Charles or another Louisiana region may prompt an elderly parent to take similar steps to create a solid plan. Various resources are offered through AARP, Caregiver Action and other networks that can help adult children and their aging parents prepare for both inevitable and unexpected events. Another great advocate to have by one's side during such discussions is an experienced estate planning attorney.

Source:, "How to talk to mom about future care", Tammy Real-McKeighan, March 28, 2017

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