As parents age they may be unable to keep track of their finances. Though this can happen gradually, it’s always best to be prepared to step in and assist your aging parents before the financial responsibilities become a problem. But how do you broach the topic without causing the parent(s) to feel defensive? It’s a tough problem to tackle, but you can use these tips to help you.
Tip 1: Begin with yourself. You can often broach financial concerns by raising your own fears or hopes. You might try, for example, telling your parent(s) about the financial steps you’ve taken to ensure your child is cared for if you should die. Use this as a place to ask your parent(s) what would happen if they suddenly become incapacitated or lost their ability to keep track of finances.
Tip 2: Give alternatives. A parent(s) may not want to hand over financial independence so willingly. State your thoughts in terms of options and possibilities, not as set-in-stone orders. This will allow both of you to explore the possibilities and come to a determination together.
Tip 3: Meet with a lawyer. It’s a good idea to have your parent(s) meet with a qualified estate planning attorney. The attorney will work for your parent(s), so he or she will be able to have the attorney assuage any concerns. Once your parent(s) knows they have good advice from a professional, it’s often easier for them to make the decision to hand over responsibility.