critical and itâ€™s tough to gauge how much it will cost in coming years. Itâ€™s important to make sure that eligible seniors are enrolled in Medicare prescription drug plans and have Medigap insurance to help cover the co-payments and deductibles, says Evans-Motte. Whatâ€™s more, with the average annual cost of a private room in a nursing home nearing $78,000 per year, long-term care insurance should be a part of the conversation. If parents canâ€™t afford long-term care insurance, consider buying a policy for them. “I have some clients where the children are paying for their parentâ€™s long-term care policy,” says Lee V. Bethel, president of Comprehensive Benefit Services Inc. in Alexandria, Virginia. “Paying $150 or $200 a month for the policy is certainly better than having to come up with $3,000 or $4,000 a month [for a nursing home].”
Also consider burial costs. Does the person have adequate life insurance? After his grandfather died, Sumner learned that his mother, Yvonne Heron, did not have life insurance. “I took out a life insurance policy for my mom that Iâ€™ve paid so I wouldnâ€™t go through what I went through with my grandfather,” he says.
4. Wills and medical directives Not only do you need to know if parents have a will, but you should know where it is, says Patrick Simon, a probate attorney in Dallas. Also determine who will make medical decisions if your parent is unable to do so. If someone becomes incapacitated, itâ€™s important that thereâ€™s a medical power of attorney in place for that person, Simon says.