The Importance of Communicating Money Matters

Handling day-to-day money matters isn’t always the simplest of tasks – even for those with strong financial acumens. Managing the business of a household can also quickly grow into a formidable task. Paying bills twice; overdrawing on checking accounts and succumbing to questionable investments are perils faced by all, but perhaps even more so as one gets older. This is where family becomes important.

Oftentimes adult children assume that their parents have everything “taken care of” and parents think their financial affairs are none of their children’s business. New research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) reveals that 51% of adult children have never had detailed discussions with their parents about their income and expenses.

As everyone knows, talking about money is perhaps one of the most unapproachable, emotionally difficult and uncomfortable subjects. Yet avoiding discussing them with aging parents could possibly be disastrous, especially when it comes to making sure that their long term health care needs are planned. Sometimes it helps to seek out a New York elder law attorney after the initial conversation.

Here are some suggestions for breaking the ice:

Remember the goal is not to find out how much money is involved. Instead, this important conversation can begin by asking about their advisors or if there is a contingency plan in place for disability. Sometimes siblings split the fiscal responsibility of aging parents – one oversees the day to day bill paying and the other will manage and/or oversee long term investments/financial advisors.

Authored by A.K. Lehmann, Paralegal

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