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Having the ‘MoneyTalk’ With Aging Parents – At A Glance – WSJ

MICHELLE PERRY HIGGINS: You don’t need to walk on eggshells or feel it is not your place to bring this subject up. I often see people wait too long or never have the talk at all, then when they should be mourning the loss of a loved one they are scrambling to find essential documents. If you are the trustee of your parents’ estate, it is critical for you to have a strong handle on their financial, estate-planning and personal affairs. A common response I hear in my practice is, “I don’t want to upset my parents by bringing up this topic,” or “My parents will think I am trying to take over their finances prematurely.” You can minimize problems by approaching the subject in a delicate, loving, and respectful manner. Follow these five steps when having the “finance talk” with your parents.

Ask your parents to schedule a date and time to have this talk so you are not competing with Mom doing the dishes or Dad watching his favorite TV show. I urge my clients to say something like, “I just met with my financial planner (or estate planner) and she brought up a few questions about my own estate that made me wonder if you also have these issues. I would appreciate your insight on these issues, and I also want to see if you need help in any of these areas. Can we sit down and talk about this on Tuesday at 6pm?”

via Having the ‘MoneyTalk’ With Aging Parents – At A Glance – WSJ.

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