If you are starting to take care of an elderly parent, one of the things you may need to discuss with them is finances. There are many aspects of their finances that you may want to talk to them about. However, it is important to keep in mind that not all elderly parents are keen on discussing their finances with their adult children. You may need to take things slow and ease into the conversation.
Talk Before an Emergency Occurs
It is important to talk to your elderly loved one about their finances before an emergency occurs. You don’t want to wait until they are hospitalized or something bad happens until you talk to them about their finances. You want to talk to them early on, so you can make a plan for those emergency situations. How are hospital visits or caregivers going to be paid for? Who is going to handle their bills if an emergency occurs? These are all things you should talk to your elderly parent about.
Discuss the Will
Wills are often difficult to discuss, especially if there are many people involved. Does your elderly parent need to get an attorney? Are they going to keep the will in a safe deposit box? Who will have access to or be in charge of their will if they pass away? If your elderly parent doesn’t currently have a will, what all do they want to include in it?
Talk About Legal Issues
Another thing you should talk to your elderly parent about is legal issues. For instance, do they have a power of attorney? If not, do they want to have one? Who will be in charge of their finances or cargiver decisions if they need help? It might be helpful if your parents know if you have a power of attorney or what your decisions would be in these cases.
Do you need to discuss lifestyle changes with your elderly parent? For instance, do they have too many credit cards? Maybe some of them need to be closed. Does your elderly parent have a large cable bill that needs to be reduced? Are they buying too many things from shopping shows on television? If these changes need to be made, work with your parent to ensure they can make these changes reasonably.
These are some of the things that you may need to discuss with your elderly parent in regard to their finances. Remember, take things slow. Don’t try to talk to your elderly parent about all these things at once. That could overwhelm them and then they may not want to discuss their finances with you at all.