Having a Conversation With Your Parents … About Money

Wells Fargo | 12/4/2013, 5:31 p.m.
Courtesy of wellsfargo.com

It’s all too easy for adult children to avoid speaking with their parents about finances. It’s a touchy subject, especially when things like inheritance come up. Despite the uncomfortable nature of these discussions, talking with parents about their finances is not only essential but it can be a rewarding experience for everyone involved. And the good news — there’s a framework for going about this.

Here are a few tips from Wells Fargo:

Ask about their conversations. Find out if your parents have had conversations about their financial future and if they are both on the same page.

Review basic information such as the types and amount of bills they pay, their sources of income, and what types of insurance they carry.

Learn about their estate documents. Ask if they have a will, durable power of attorney, and health care proxy. Find out if the documents are up to date and where they’re stored.

Discuss their lifestyle and personal preferences. Discuss where they want to live, and what they’d prefer to do if they had to move. And ask if they’ve made funeral arrangements.

Ask if they are prepared for life changes. What happens if there are health issues? What would the days be like if they had to live alone? Has each of them thought about their own ability to maintain the household and manage their finances?

Involve family members. If you have siblings, ask your parents if they have spoken to anyone else in the family on this topic.

Wells Fargo’s Beyond Today® Having a Conversation … With Your Parents helps people learn how to set the tone for the conversation and take it slow — two necessary components for a productive conversation.