It is important for you to talk to your adult children about your Florida estate planning. You want your children to know who has the legal authority to make your decisions.  You also want them to know what your long-term care goals are should you become incapacitated.  There may never seem to be a good time, however, to have this discussion.


Your estate planning and elder care goals are best discussed when you can be face-to-face with your family. We know this is not always possible. For many families who live in different states, time together is a luxury that only holiday visits make possible. If this is the challenge you face, we encourage you to set aside time with your children during the holidays for this important conversation, whether you are traveling or they are. Let us share with you six steps to take when you are having this discussion together.


1. Plan ahead for this meeting. Before any discussions occur, it is important to determine what you want to share with your children. Plan ahead for what you will discuss, including your goals and long-term care wishes. You may decide that you want to bring copies of your documents to the meeting as well. Don’t hesitate to make a list.  This way you will not forget anything you want to share.


2. Prepare for questions that may be asked. You know your children. What do you believe their questions will be? Do not only think about the questions, but also consider your answers. For example, if you have a child who is a financial professional, but you name another child as your agent under your Florida durable power of attorney, there may be questions. Be ready to help your children understand your decisions.


3. Take into account different personalities. Each of your children are different and have different skills. Your estate planning may reflect your understanding of these differences as well as your belief of how each child will be able to help you in the future. You want to select the right child for the right role based on your wishes, not the wishes of someone else.


4. Be prepared to talk about long-term careYour children may not have much experience with elder care. They may not be well-versed in what type of care you may need in the future or your concerns over how you will pay for it. Be ready to share with them your goals for your long-term care planning and tell them the name of your elder care attorney.


5. Remember your goals. This is a serious conversation. It also may become emotional as you talk to your children. Even though it can be hard to discuss, remember that your goal is to secure your future and to educate your children on your elder care wishes. Do not forget to tell them that this planning also protects them.  You will have the planning tools you need in place to avoid losing all of your money to long-term care costs.


6. Know this conversation does not have to be the last. Let your children know at the outset that this can be an ongoing conversation. You may want to pause the meeting so everyone can reflect on what was shared before coming together again.  Work together to find a time you all can meet and discuss your estate planning and elder care needs further.

Do you need more guidance on the type of estate planning and elder care planning you need in Florida? Our team is ready to meet with you and discuss your questions. Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a meeting with Attorney Scott Selis.