Hard conversations are just that: hard. This is particularly true when it comes to our parents and their finances. Heck, we really don’t want to talk about many of the aspects of aging, and there are many reasons for this hesitancy. However, we must discuss these things to prevent ourselves, our siblings, and our parents from suffering when there is no more time to wait.
MOST OF US CHILDREN KNOW NOTHING ABOUT OUR PARENTS’ FINANCES
For most of us, we don’t know about our parents’ finances. It was not our place to be involved in their financial decisions. And as we grew up and they got older we may have guessed at what they had done, were doing or had planned to do. But we never talked about it in detail.
Given that history (of no honest and open communication), it is not an easy to discuss serious money issues with our own parents. So, it is important to be prepared going into such a discussion.
PREPARING FOR SUCH A DISCUSSION
As part of preparing for such a discussion, there are some ideas for making that discussion easier.
- Make it about them. You’re trying to be aware of their wishes so you can help carry them out.
- Frame it as something you’ve been doing for yourself. For example, say “We’re working on our will and estate plan, and wanted to be sure you’re all taken care of, too.”
- Use the story of someone you know. Maybe a friend faced a problem where they needed access to parents’ accounts to pay for their medical care but didn’t have the documents in place.
There are some basic financial topics or questions that you should cover during that discussion(s). For an elderly parent financial checklist please visit: https://lifeandmyfinances.com/2020/05/help-elderly-parents-with-finances/