There may come a day (if it hasn’t happened already) where you will need to start taking care of your parents. This will include staying on top of their financial situation, which may include estate planning, taxes, and even their day-to-day budgeting. Some parents are very open to receiving help from their children, while others may be more stubborn. Either way, the first step to helping your parents with their finances is initiating a conversation. We will go over the best way to do so, along with figuring out their financial situation and how you can help them.
Starting the conversation
Some parents may not be open to the idea of sharing financial matters with their children. In these cases, it is best to ease them into the conversation by bringing up a small financial discussion every now and then. You can do that by first talking about your own finances. You can tell them that you just updated your will and use that topic to lead into a question about their own will. The next time, you can talk to them about your decision about power of attorney for your estate. You can share this effort with your siblings if you have any.
Digging into their finances
Once your parents have become comfortable with talking about their finances, the next step is to gather enough information to draw an accurate picture. Is their retirement income covering all of their expenses? Do they have the resources to handle possible future health care needs? Do they have life or long-term care insurance coverage? Do they have an estate plan in place to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their assets?
How you can help
Now that you have gathered your parents’ financial information, you can determine where you need to help them. You may determine that you need to help them with their day-to-day banking, or that you may need to pinch in with money of your own. In order to properly help them, you will need to know the contact information for their doctor, lawyer, financial advisor, and accountant. If you are named executor of their will, you will need to know where the will is physically kept along with important items like a safety deposit box. If you have brothers or sisters, you should encourage your parents to talk to them all about their plans for distributing the inheritance. This can help avoid conflict once they pass, and make your life as executor much easier.
Don’t wait until your parents are overwhelmed. Start the conversation with them today to make the lives of your loved ones easier. For any advice about helping your parents with their finances, contact The Beacon Group of Assante Financial Management, Ltd. today.