Top Mistakes Made When Managing Aging Parents’ Affairs

adult son teaching his father to use a new tablet PCAs our parents age, it becomes essential to address the complexities of managing their affairs. From estate planning to healthcare decisions, these tasks can be daunting and emotionally challenging. Many families may find themselves unprepared, leading to critical mistakes that can have long-lasting consequences. 

Mistake #1: Procrastinating Estate Planning

One of the most significant mistakes people make when managing their aging parents’ affairs is procrastinating on estate planning. Estate planning involves creating wills, trusts, and other essential documents to ensure a smooth transfer of assets and wealth after their passing. Waiting too long to address these matters can lead to increased stress, legal complications, and potential family disputes. Encourage your parents to work with a qualified estate planning attorney to safeguard their assets and ensure their wishes are honored.

Mistake #2: Neglecting Health Care Directives

Health care directives, such as living wills and medical powers of attorney, allow individuals to express their preferences for medical treatments and appoint trusted representatives to make medical decisions on their behalf if they become incapacitated. Neglecting to establish these directives can result in confusion and disagreement among family members during critical medical situations. Stress the importance of having these documents in place while your parents are still capable of making informed decisions.

Mistake #3: Failing to Consider Special Needs Planning

If you have a sibling or family member with special needs, it is crucial to include them in your parents’ estate plan. Special needs planning involves setting up trusts and provisions to support the financial and medical needs of individuals with disabilities without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits. Engage an experienced estate planning attorney who can create a comprehensive plan to address the unique requirements of your family members.

Mistake #4:Overlooking Long-Term Care Costs

Long-term care costs can be overwhelming, especially if your aging parents require assisted living or nursing home care. Failing to plan for these expenses can quickly deplete their assets and impact their quality of life. Investigate long-term care insurance options and consult with a trust attorney in San Jose, CA, to create a financial plan that ensures your parents’ needs are adequately covered.

Mistake #5: DIY Estate Planning

The accessibility of online legal tools may tempt some to attempt do-it-yourself estate planning. However, this approach is risky and may result in improperly executed documents or legal oversights. Estate planning involves intricate laws and regulations that require the expertise of a San Jose trust attorney. Rely on qualified professionals who can tailor a plan to your parents’ specific needs and ensure its validity under state laws.

Mistake #6: Ignoring the Need for Conservatorship

If your aging parents are no longer able to manage their finances or make sound decisions, conservatorship may be necessary. Conservatorship grants a designated individual or entity the legal authority to manage your parents’ financial and personal affairs. While it can be a sensitive topic, addressing the need for conservatorship early can prevent potential financial exploitation and protect your parents’ interests.

Mistake #7: Not Communicating with Your Parents

Another common mistake is not communicating with your parents about their wishes for their care and assets. This can be a difficult conversation to have, but it is important to do so. By talking to your parents, you can get a better understanding of their wishes and make sure that their wishes are carried out.

Mistake #8: Assuming That Everything Is in Order

It is also a mistake to assume that everything is in order with your parents’ affairs. Even if your parents have a will and power of attorney, it is important to review these documents regularly to make sure that they are still up-to-date. You should also review your parents’ financial records to make sure that you have a clear understanding of their assets and liabilities.

Getting Professional Help

Taking care of aging parents’ affairs is a responsibility that requires thorough planning and consideration. By avoiding common mistakes like procrastinating estate planning, neglecting health care directives, and overlooking long-term care costs, you can ensure a smoother transition and protect your parents’ well-being. Engaging a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning attorney in the Bay Area from Keyes Law Group can provide invaluable support during this process.

Do not delay in seeking professional advice to safeguard your parents’ future and ensure their wishes are respected. Take action today, and embrace the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have responsibly managed your aging parents’ affairs.


"I have had the pleasure of working with the Keyes Law Group these past months. To date, Mr. Keyes has been a great asset to our family; helping to plan a trust and the appropriate tax strategies for us and the next generation. What has worked very well for my wife and I is the time Mr. Keyes has devoted to not only hearing our financial planning concerns, but to also take the necessary time to explain and offer options for us to consider. We have worked with tax attorneys and financial consultants over the years. For us, a successful relationship is one of the key factors that we strive for. Working with the Keyes Law Group has been a very good fit for us as we work to get our financial affairs in order." -- RY
"I can’t say enough great things about Keyes Law Group! They are thorough, caring, and extremely efficient! I send everyone I know to them for Estate Planning! They took such great care of my family and they have earned my business forever! Look no further than Keyes Law Group if you want a seamless process and to cover all bases for your estate! They aren’t just Estate Attorneys; they are family!" -SL
"The patience with helping us achieve our goal and the patience in breaking down the legalese into simple language that we could understand was very beneficial. We felt we were very well taken care of." -GR
"We truly appreciate your thoughts, ideas and time. I very much value your expertise and look forward to more dialogue about best ways to move forward, build healthier relationships with our children and their children and to pass on our values to the degree we are able." -R.Y.
"I was able to have a honest dialog with such an understanding, compassionate, and caring human being. Thank you." -Y.H.
"I've had the opportunity to work with Elijah for several years now. I started during a challenging situation with my mother and he was terrific. I'd say he's very responsive, reliable and exceptionally fair. Also very empathetic. It's refreshing to engage with him and feel that I'm being well taken care of and my needs are being met. His staff is also lovely and overall super accommodating." -I.S.
"It is very important to research and choose wisely when looking for an estate planning attorney. Did you know that the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization has a unique recognition for attorneys who go beyond the regular requirements to practice Estate Planning? Elijah Keyes has this designation; Certified Estate Planning Specialist. He is extremely well versed with this specific area of law and is a strong advocate for his clients in estate planning, including establishing living trusts, wealth planning and family transfers, dynasty trusts, conservatorships, special needs trusts, elder law medi-cal benefits and planning, trust administration and probate. Thank you Elijah, for being a trusted resource for us and for our clients!" -M.H.
"Keyes Law Group helped our family through a very difficult time with estate planning. He's honest, transparent and genuinely cares about his clients. His own personal experiences have shaped his approach in working with people - especially older folks who might be more mistrusting. He can finesse difficult conversations with ease and for that, I'm forever grateful. 100% recommend!" -Y.V.
"Elijah was very helpful with editing our family trust after my wife passed away. He answered all my question in a timely manner and if he did not know the answer he found out quickly. He would take time out of day to reassure me that he had everything under control. He took his time to explain why he worded the trust the way he did and that I understood what it meant. Will use him again when the trust needs to updated." -D.