The Sandwich Generation
You have elderly parents who need more of your attention, and your children are young adults but they are still at home. Or perhaps your adult children have just started having kids of their own and you are on baby-sitting duty regularly. You are stuck between them. You are torn between them. You have obligations to both of them, and you thought you’d have some freedom by now! Just when your children should be grown up and gone, your parents decline and you need to keep an eye on them.
You are the sandwich generation – sandwiched between your children and your parents.
My advice (and it’s a bit cliche) is to make sure you look after yourself first! I mean this in more ways than just physically and emotional caring for yourself. I mean you should get your affairs in order. Because if something happens to you, everything revolves around you, and the others won’t manage unless you have a proper plan organised.
Get your estate planning in order – your Will, your Powers of Attorney, your superannuation, your instructions about your medical care, instructions about your funeral, and have all your main paperwork in one place, including copies of all your usernames and passwords for all your digital accounts.
Once you have your own Will and Enduring Powers of Attorney organised, and you have left lists about who should get what, and you have made a detailed record of all your online accounts, and you funeral insurance is organised … then you can make sure you talk to your parents about their estate plan.
With your parents, you will want to make sure that any Centrelink benefits they may be entitled to are preserved if one dies. You will want to start considering how they will pay for their aged care. And, somewhat selfishly (but it’s okay to think about yourself), you will want to make sure that your inheritance will be structured in a way that best suits your own situation.
Then, drag your children along to an appointment with your solicitor and make sure they do their Wills and Enduring Powers of Attorney. For young people, their superannuation is usually their biggest asset, and they need to make sure it will go where they want it to. Usually this takes more than a Will, and a fair bit of thought. Their Will is also important if their have little kids of their own, because they will need to appoint guardians.
You don’t want to be left trying to administer the estate of your intestate child, with a dispute over the superannuation as well – if your child dies without a Will, it can be time consuming and costly.
The Sandwich Generation is your guide, as a member of the sandwich generation, about everything you need to know about estate planning for yourself, as well as what you need to make sure your parents and children consider. This book will give you a great starting point to be able to seek out the further advice and guidance to get your planning done properly – to make sure life is easier for everyone.