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What to think about when aging parents live far away

The scenery of the Pacific Northwest is very beautiful. Few can deny this. The natural beauty brings people from across the country. While many who grow up in this part of the country end up staying and living their whole lives here, it is not uncommon for some to find homes elsewhere. With that, their aging parents may stay behind in the Seattle - Tacoma metro area. When the parent of an adult child gets older and starts having health issues, doctor’s appointments and welfare checks are increasingly important. Despite this, a child’s professional life and family obligations may make it difficult to make frequent trips to Seattle to be a part of their parent’s life.

Additionally, some aging parents may not be forthcoming about their illnesses or health conditions, which can become very complicated after suffering a major health issue. An elderly parent may believe that they would simply be an undue burden on their children if they revealed their condition, and do not want to cause extra stress and consternation with their failing health.

The same may apply when dealing with financial problems. After spending decades as a caregiver and provider, an aging parent may be embarrassed about the state of their finances and may be very upset about needing financial help from a child.

In these situations, adult children have several options to take. Many will look to move back to the Seattle area to be closer to their elderly parents. This may be the best option depending on the circumstances because parents can maintain their independence and have family-based caregivers close by. Unfortunately, this might not be an option for some adult children because of financial constraints. At the same time, an older parent may not want to leave their home and move in with their children for the same reasons alluded to before.

Before relocating either way, adult children must have candid conversations with their parents about their well-being. They must also discuss important estate planning elements, even if it feels uncomfortable. After all, estate planning is about avoiding monumental surprises after a loved one passes away.  

If you have questions about how estate planning documents work and how they can make life easier, an experienced attorney can advise you.

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