Talking about finances with parents can be a source of stress and anxiety for all involved, but especially for adult children. You don’t want your loved one to think you are questioning their financial decisions, however, emergencies can happen and things can change without warning. Having a financial plan is imperative. The best way to start this conversation is when your loved one is still independent.
Honesty goes a long way. Kindness and empathy are important. Explain that you want to be prepared in the event that something were to happen. Here are a few things you will need to discuss:
Do they have a will? If so, where can it be found and who is the attorney that drafted it?
Have they designated someone as their financial power of attorney and/or their medical power of attorney?
What financial institutions do they use? Are their accounts set up to be accessed online?
What income do they have each month from pensions, investments, and social security?
Are bills paid automatically online or are some paid by check? Where do they keep their checkbook in the event a check needs to be sent?
Who does their income taxes each year? Do they have an accountant? What about a financial planner?
Do they have long term care insurance? If so, who do they have a policy through? What are the terms of the policy? What can it be used for?
Remember, your goal is to gain knowledge necessary to keep everything running smoothly in the event something were to happen.