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Estate Planning: How to Talk to Elderly Parents About Money

Once you're an adult, the most difficult subject to discuss with your parents has nothing to do with "the talk" you may have had as a teenager. It's about finances -- specifically, their finances.

Research shows that approximately 40% of Americans currently provide some level of care giving for elderly relatives. Most of the time this includes financial support. So it's important to know if you will be needed to provide that kind of support in the future. Here are some tips for talking to aging parents about finances:

Make it about you. One of the best times to talk to parents about their finances is when you are working on your own. Tell your parents that you have created a will, a health care directive and set up a financial plan for your own future and ask them if they have done the same.

Use real-life examples. When something unfortunate happens to another family member, a friend or even a celebrity, use the example as a talking point to introduce the subject.

Talk to parents as a friend. Talking to your parents as if you were talking to a friend and using a friendly tone will help ease their sensitivity and they won't feel you are rolling over them.

Investigate. If you don't know anything about your parent's finances, ask them for permission to talk with their financial adviser. If that is not an option, then you will need to ask them directly about their income and plans for the future, especially when it comes to long-term care.

Have a system. If your parents don't have their financial information organized in one place, it's time to help them do so. Ask them if you can help them obtain a credit report to ensure they are not victims of identity theft.

The Flanigan Law Group handles estate planning, administration and litigation legal services for Irvine and Southern California residents. To learn more on how estate planning can help you preserve and protect your assets, contact us at 949-450-0041.

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