Its reality (and a little morbid) that your parents are aging you be one of the main caregivers. If you reading this they you understand the saying “sandwich generation” squished between taking care of kids, a demanding career, and aging parents.
I have had calls with investors who have had their parents give a greatly appreciated property before death (losing all the step up basis tax advantages) or give an asset to only to have a person get injured at the property and now everyone in the family is on the hook for the lawsuit.
How can we plan for this proactively and strategically without falling victim to traditional methods (taxes and a commission based financial planners).
Its definitely and emotional time with a money on the line… like wedding planning… yikes!
Although you came from the same DNA strain and upbringing you will be surprised on what is behind the financial status of our parents. Going in with a non judgmental mindset enables you get the truth and arrange a mutual plan.
Start by gathering the following:
- Bank statements
- Investment portfolios
- Passwords associated with these accounts
- Safe deposit boxes
- Outstanding loans
We have all coaching clients download and complete this personal financial sheet which help facilitate conversations.
It’s not as simple as die with less than $22 million in assets. We can help with our Family Office consultation to navigate the complex situations of designing a game plan.
Where are we?
See where the money is coming and going. Inventory current bills and whether or not those are being paid on time.
Run credit reports with Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Be kind when understanding that your parents will have the traditional mindset to debt than you.
Inventory social security, retirement accounts, real estate, and cash.
Inventory medical history and any current medications they’ve been prescribed. Automate appointments and get involved with the relationship with their health provider.
You may consider the power of attorney (POA) should they become incapacitated. Even if they are in good health you should have a trust setup. Let us know and we can refer you to someone we trust. A will is not acceptable because it will go into probate.
A will is not acceptable. Get a trust setup to avoid probate and giving up 2-10% of the estate value to lawyers. Smart lawyers who create wills for you know its guaranteed work for them ($$$) in the future.
Familiarize yourself with long-term care which is designed to help pay for chronic diseases and disabilities. The money can be used for medical to non-medical activities like bathing, eating, and dressing, assisted living options as we will discuss below, as well as skilled care by nurses or other professionals.
Not to scare you or feed into a insurance broker’s ploy but:
The department of health and human services says that those who are age 65 today has a ~70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services. And those aged 55-60, only 5% of them have long-term care coverage. The cost of coverage can be $2000-3000 per year.
Based on Social Security Administration info, the average lifespan of a man who has reached 65 is around 84 and for a woman who’s reached 65 is almost 87.
Assisted living options
We all know about investing in assisting living deals but now we are the customers.
Learn your parents’ wishes regarding the type of care facility they would prefer based on their (and your) financial situation.
Would they want to live with others while they still can get around or would they rather live in their current home until they break their hip and can barely use the restroom themselves?
Check their insurance coverage and what the government will and won’t pay for relative to Medicare benefits. Here is where it would require a tax/legal professional (not your typical tax guy) to advise you how to equity strip your parents to quality for the most coverage while gifting off as much assets as you can.
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Option
You parents might be find going to an assisted living facility or “old people home,” however they may not have the funds to do that or you may prefer to have them nearby…
… but not too close.
One solution maybe constructing an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on your current property. One advantage to this is that you can have free childcare in the backyard and forge a stronger relationship between your kids and their grandparents 😁