Dealing with aging family members is never easy. From navigating life insurance to learning how to cope with chronic illness, there are plenty of questions to ask your parents as they age. Some of these are pressing issues and sensitive discussions. Parents see themselves as a guidance and rock in your life, so when the tables are turned, many may become defensive or not know how to cope.
This is understandable. It’s a difficult subject to bring up but it’s necessary to do so in many cases. If you’re not sure what questions you should be asking or how to navigate some of these complex concepts, there are a few things that you should keep in mind moving forward.
Do you have a life insurance policy?
Life insurance is difficult for any child to discuss with their parents. Often, a life insurance policy will be connected to a financial institution that will prevent the withdrawal of the policy for cash value. This varies for different life insurance companies across the United States, however. Ultimately, the number of contributions and the legal basis for withdrawal will be stipulated by a policy owner.
A life insurance policy can ensure that family members are taken care of after a parent’s death. Depending on the insurance company and the premium payments, this can help children navigate the costs of outstanding medical treatment. You’ll need to see which of your parents is the life insurance policyholder to determine the best course of action.
Do you have a viatical settlement provider?
If you’ve ever asked yourself “What is a viatical settlement?” then you also need to ask your parents whether or not they have a viatical settlement provider. A viatical settlement is when someone with a chronic illness sells their life insurance policy to a third party through a broker. This is often done for cash value. A viatical settlement transaction can be complex.
Sometimes, you’ll want to talk to a financial advisor about the sale of a life insurance policy. Other times, you can contact a viatical settlement company who can work with the life insurance policyholder on your behalf. Different types of viatical settlements involve a lump sum cash payout depending on the insurance policy. A financial planner can help you navigate the details with your settlement provider.
Are there outstanding debts or expenses?
While some debts don’t pass on to family members, other kinds can. This goes for outstanding expenses and loans as well. If you’re facing potential premium payments, you need to discuss these with your parents. By meeting with a financial advisor, you may be able to set up payment plans or pay off debts with a lower cash value. Whether it’s a written agreement with a business entity or an outstanding debt, these need to be spotted quickly before they cause any problems down the road. If there are any outstanding loans, you may need to discuss these with a third party broker to see if there are any ways to refinance or consolidate expenses.
Navigating old age is difficult enough for your parents. By asking some of the right questions, you can help make things a little easier. By discussing a viatical settlement contract, inquiring about which parent is a policy owner, and learning more about your parents’ insurance company, you can help them enjoy old age as peacefully as possible. Especially when you’re discussing questions surrounding life expectancy, try to be sensitive, kind, and understanding. It will make the process that much easier for everyone involved. You can make a difference in your parents’ lives. Just remember to ask the right questions.