All About Estates

Difficult Conversations: With Our Children

All of the writers (and presumably the readers as well) know the importance of having their ‘important paper’ work completed. For me, most importantly this means completing Powers of Attorney for both Property and Personal care as well as Advanced Care Directives. For you, perhaps the ‘most importantly’ may be the Will, but regardless we can all agree that these are all key documents for living (and for dying) well.

Many people (of all ages) don’t like to talk about these things as they feel either:
– Nothing will happen to them and/or
– If they do talk about it, something will happen.
So where does that leave them?

I had the opportunity recently to review my own documents and reviewed again, with both my husband and children, what my wishes are and where the documents are located. This conversation was easy enough.
The more challenging discussion is how to talk to your children about completing their own paperwork. What is the right age to do this, when is the right time?

For me, the incentivizing factor was a trip they were planning- which would take them out of the country on holiday. My sons are in their late 20’s, have jobs and live on their own. I felt it was time. I shared this article with my sons and found it helpful.

I am well aware of situations where there has been an accident or serious misfortune involving a young adult (over age 21) and as a result, they sustained significant brain damage. Sustaining significant brain damage and capacity are often linked so having had an attorney for both property and personal care allowed the parent to deal with financial matters (school and car loans, banking) as well as personal matters including accessing their son’s social media accounts.

I know that this is not a pleasant topic to think about, but an important one to consider AND act upon.

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About Audrey Miller
About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 30 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field. Email:

1 Comment

  1. karen Kutner

    February 11, 2019 - 5:47 pm

    Great article! So true to have young people complete their own paperwork for POA’s, as young as their 20’s. As we know, one never knows what tomorrow may bring
    Thanks for your excellent contribution to this blog!

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