Some ground rules for your talk and a list of items to get started
Death and money — two topics many families try to avoid altogether — are a crucial discussion for aging parents and their adult (often middle-aged or older) children.
So buckle up. Neither side wants to contemplate the parents’ mortality. And discussing the parents’ finances — how they’ll be managed should the oldsters become unable, how property will be distributed when the parents die — is also touchy territory.
Of course, not discussing these issues is the bigger mistake. It’s likely your aging mom and dad will need help with their affairs at some point, and waiting until their memory begins to fail will be a frustrating experience for all parties. There’s also the danger of elder financial abuse scams. And it’s important to have trustworthy adult children keep an eye on their parents’ money coming and going.
My colleague Carla Fried has written about the essential documents to have in…