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9 Questions to Ask Aging Parents About Their Finances

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There are now more than 70 million Baby Boomers in the U.S. Yet, millions of adult children may not be prepared to make important decisions about their parents’ future if necessary because of a lack of knowledge about their parents’ finances.

While people in their 40s and 50s learned much about money from their parents, now the roles are becoming reversed. Adult children should know where their parents’ finances stand in case of any emergency. In addition, they should know critical information in case of death, such as if they are named the executor of their estate.

Speaking to aging parents about their finances isn’t easy. To begin this process, here are nine important topics that you may want to discuss with your parents:

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If you are starting from scratch, find out if your parents have a financial plan and a financial adviser. If you have your own financial plan, letting them know about it may be a good way to inquire about what they have in place for themselves.

Some parents will have a solid financial plan that will enable them to live comfortably into their 80s or 90s. Or, you may learn they are living on a fixed budget and money is tight. If it’s clear that you will need to help them financially now or in the future, begin to plan for that now. Any decision to provide them with financial support will likely have an impact on your own financial plan.

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Ask your parents to put together a list of their financial assets and those people designated as beneficiaries of those accounts. For example, the children will likely be beneficiaries of any Individual Retirement Accounts and other assets. Keep this information in a safe place.

If your parents have a financial adviser, ask them to keep that person’s contact information with their list. Each year, one of our clients gives their adult child a sealed envelope listing all of their accounts that is to be opened in the event of an........

© Kiplinger

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