Children of Baby Boomers and other adult children who need to assist aging parents with their finances are often uncomfortable talking to their parents about finances and legal matters. Yet, research shows that most adult children are not financially prepared for parental end-of-life planning and don’t know how to discuss finances with aging parents:
Personal finance journalist Cameron Huddleston never had problems talking to her mother about money. But her mother started showing signs of memory loss, and Huddleston knew she had to step in quickly and ensure important legal documents ― namely, her mother’s will, power of attorney and living will (also known as an advanced directive) ― were in order.
Huddleston and her mother met with an attorney to make sure her legal documents were in order, and she would be able to manage her mother’s affairs if need be. The experience led her to write her new book, Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk: How to Have Essential Conversations with Your Parents About Their Finances.
Huddleston recommends that you assure your parents that the reason you want to discuss their finances and the estate is not because you’re concerned about who gets what. “Oftentimes, parents are reluctant to talk to their kids because they don’t want to divide them,” Huddleston said, noting that’s especially true if assets haven’t been divided equally among siblings.
Often children aren’t aware of their parent’s estate plans and options, and don’t know how to discuss finances with aging parents. Many times children find themselves unexpected financial advisors or even caretakers for their parents and aren’t adequately informed to make good decisions. An experienced Illinois elder law attorney can explain applicable laws and advise you on the best options to protect the interests of senior citizens. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at (630) 382-8073.