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Where are their papers, etc. We have been trying for years. HELP! Both in-laws' health are declining more every day,....FIL is very stubborn and won't let anyone in to help take care of house, etc. We have tried for years to help get rid of stuff (his own family) and they both think we are stealing from them even though we have THEM get rid of stuff and we show them everything that goes out of the house/yard....Their house is on the verge of hoarders, it is very cluttered and cannot find anything. We have cleaned out some spaces only to find it packed again.....They are 82 and 83.....My husband has tried talking to them, being nice, being stern....to no avail. I suggested we let them know we will be out in 2 weeks to go through their paperwork, thus giving them 2 weeks to get stuff together. This is driving me nuts as it will be a mess when one goes & the family is left to find paperwork. All FIL will say is "it's all taken care of.." I feel like we are at the point to treat them more sternly like "kids" but with a respect....HELP....We live 2 hours away from them...& do go out at least every weekend or every other weekend.....as we both still work....Thanks

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I thought I was lucky that both my parents sat down the entire family, when they were still in their late 50's and prior to retirement, to detail their plans and wishes. Of course, massive arguments ensued among the siblings and continue to this day. But, who cares? Their wishes and instructions were well-known, and everyone had lots of time to get used to it. There were no surprises and one parent passed away without incident and his wishes were honored, but as the other nears the end of her life, one sibling decided to be evil and screw it all up for her. So even those parents that take extreme care in making plans sometimes get sidetracked. Of all the suggestions, FreqFlyer has, I think, the best approach in your situation. Prepare the materials, and all they need to do is fill-in the blanks.
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Man, this is a tough one. "So ,the Government will be in charge of your money" might work with some. Is this a symptom of cognitive decline probably. Something to keep in mind. Also, if you go with them to doctor's appointments , something to talk about in front of the doctor.
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I am in your shoes. My parents were always secretive and private about their affairs and they would never share other than saying it was done, waving around an folder and repeating"you'll get it when you need it" -- no amount of cajoling, reasoning or other family members pointing out the importance of having a copy with the POA oe executor has worked.
I've calmly tried to explain to mom to at least put in safety deposit box or with attorney but she refuses. My biggest fear is the house catching fire and it is gone. I've threatened that I won't be able to carry out her wishes if I can't find and all will just be turned over to the state and she'll be buried in a paupers grave, lol...not with dad. The stubborn 92 yr old is not budging. Sigh, it'll take weeks to turn the house upside down and hope to find the documents. She changes their hiding place all the time.
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Sometimes ones parents are in denial that are they aging, and figure oh they have time to get things together. I am doing that right now with my parents.

I gave my parents a very large red notebook where I had put tabs saying "legal papers" "cars" "finances" "stock" safe box" "elder care" "final plan" "Will" and within each section I asked questions leaving space for my parents to write answers.

Example under "Legal Papers" I asked do you have an Elder Law attorney? If so, name, address of said attorney. Who has financial Power of Attorney? Name and address of said person. Who has medical Power of Attorney? Where is the Deed to your home? House insurance, name and address of company.

My parents are in their mid-90's and just right now are finally updating their Wills, and Power of Attorneys. Mom is POA for Dad, but Mom is almost deaf and can barely see... last time Dad went to the hospital Mom didn't go because of her limitations.... I told Dad when he was in the ER that I shouldn't be making decisions for him because I am not on his POA, that was a wake-up call for him.
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One other thing to consider: they may have indeed taken care of everything, and may be concerned that you won't like their choices. They may have already selected someone else to handle their affairs. Don't assume, simply because you are their children, that they want or need you to handle that. What a blessing, if they chose someone else!
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Unfortunately, you cannot force them to reveal their plans or share their documents with you. They can simlpy refuse. Instead, you need to try to convince them that it's in their own best interests to make sure someone from your generation knows what to do, just in case. For example, "Dad, we want to be able to help mom out right away, if something happens to you, and we'd do the same for you, if something happened to mom. What if something happened to both of you? We would be lost and wouldn't even know where to look." Make it clear you have ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST in seeing their Will and that it's not what you are interest in seeing. Most parents will respond to an appeal that is put that way.
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