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What You Need to Talk to Your Aging Parents About Right Now

None of us are getting any younger, and for children of elderly parents there are some specific questions you need to ask your parents before it is too late. Talking to your parents about these issues is often very difficult, so you may want to think about how to bring up this discussion in advance and in a way that isn’t too confrontational or accusative. Here’s what you need to talk about.

Do you have a financial planner?

Discussing finances and money is often a very touchy subject, so you shouldn’t ask about specific saving amounts or investments. Instead, ask your parents if they have a financial planner or someone who can advise them. Ideally, the financial planner should be a fiduciary, meaning someone who has a legal obligation to look out for your parent’s best interests over his or her own.

Do you have a will?

A last will and testament is a necessary part of any estate plan, and asking if your parents have one will usually let you know if they have thought about estate planning at all. If they don’t have one it can be a good idea to help them find a good estate planning attorney in your area.

Have you thought about medical wishes?

Elderly parents should consult with their doctors and their estate planning attorney to create advance medical directives. They may never need them, but thinking about end-of-life medical issues is very important, especially if they are ever left in a position where they can no longer express their desires.

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