If your parents live in a nursing home or another long-term care facility, you undoubtedly recognize the importance of keeping close tabs on them. After all, because of staffing shortages, nursing homes sometimes fail to meet the needs of their residents.
In addition to worrying about your parents’ physical well-being, you may need to take steps to protect their estate plan. Remember, your parents may be vulnerable to undue influence. If someone supplants his or her interests above your parents’ goals, you may miss out on your inheritance.
Because of isolation from family members and friends, older individuals are often prone to sadness and depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Depression, isolation can lead to a host of negative health consequences. It can also be disastrous for estate plans.
If your parents are lonely, they may seek comfort from a caregiver, acquaintance, family member or friend. These individuals may try to take advantage of your mother and father, unfortunately. Therefore, to prevent undue influence, you should take steps to combat isolation.
Visiting your parents in the nursing home and regularly talking to them on the phone is likely to help considerably.
By maintaining contact with your parents, you may become aware of any changes to their estate plan. If they tell you about adding or removing beneficiaries, you may want to ask some in-depth questions about their intentions. With luck, you can uncover undue influence while you still have sufficient time to reverse it.
Ultimately, if you do not find out about undue influence until after your parents’ deaths, contesting their estate plan may protect both their legacy and your financial interests.