A few of the things that would have given me a smoother transition into the caregiver role for my parents would have been a more gradual relinquishing of their medical, physical and household responsibilities. Dad’s hip fracture (unfortunately) was the incident that set in motion their immediate and full dependence on me. I have a brother, but he has created only more work for me. I know most elderly folks living independently don’t feel the urgency to begin relinquishing financial control when they can still seem to manage it all, but I do think when we are in our 70′s that it is time to have all of those pieces of the puzzle completely in order, so that the transition is smooth and easy for our children. Maybe not easy breezy, but at least not a major headache! For starters, downsize to no more than three or four accounts, get POA’s in order on all accounts, Social Security, Medicare, etc. everything that has money or personal privacy issues must has POA on file or you are out of luck!
I would also be certain that by my 70′s all my important documents are safely tucked away in a safety deposit box: will, financial account records, birth certificate, marriage license, copy of insurance cards and policies, most recent tax statement, passport, funeral papers, etc. Be sure the executor of the will has the extra key or code to this box! Can you share your wisdom, please?