Conversations about finances, especially between adults and their aging parents, can be challenging. Whether living in Colorado or elsewhere, it’s important to be in on the financial plan, especially when an elderly parent falls ill or starts losing their memory. It’s best not to let the illness strike before developing a living will and setting up power of attorney, at the very least.
There are several legal documents designed to guide families on how to handle the affairs of older family members. For some families, it may be hard to broach subjects like finances and end-of-life care. One suggestion is to use other people’s experiences. An event happening to someone close to the family could facilitate the start of a conversation between aging parents and their adult children. Often, personal events serve as triggers for individuals to start considering what they might do in similar situations.
Another suggestion involves adult children getting their own financial house in order. Again, things become personal when they involve loved ones, and aging parents may be more receptive to discussing financial matters if they see their children preparing their own paperwork. When parents do open up, they should be talked to as peers rather than as people incapable of handling their own business.
While family dynamics can complicate matters, a smart approach should make these conversations less difficult. After bringing up the topic, those with aging parents may want to seek out the assistance of an attorney. An attorney may be able to help parents and children prepare necessary financial documentation, healthcare directives and wills. They could also listen to concerns and could be able recommend courses of action.
Source: Daily Finance, “5 Tips for Talking to Your Aging Parents About Their Finances“, Michele Lerner, August 16, 2013
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