ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- As we enter the holiday season, many families will gather to celebrate this special time. These gatherings may also serve as an ideal time to have conversations surrounding important matters.
Matt Algeyer of Wamhoff Financial Planning & Accounting Services, shares what you may want to consider discussing with mom, dad and your children.
The wishes of your aging parents:
• Consider – and ask about – your parents` health. Is one in good health and the other one slipping? Are both experiencing declining health, or are they both fit and active?
• What decisions would the like you to make when they are unable to do so? This includes decisions surrounding their health care and long term care.
• Ask your parents if they are taking advantage of veteran`s benefits, or other governmental benefits which may be applicable. You`ll want to make sure there is a long-term strategy to take care of needs that may arise.
• Do they have an estate plan, will or trust in place, and is it accurate and up-to-date? These types of plans will outline their wishes, and communicate those wishes to the heirs.
• Ask your parents if there is a detailed accounting of where all of their accounts are held, as well as information about insurance policies and any other assets they may hold.
• Bottom line, in the event that something happens to one or both of your aging parents, you want to make sure you are carrying out their wishes on their behalf.
Communication with your siblings:
• In most families, there is typically one sibling who assumes most of the responsibility when it comes to assisting with parents. Have you identified who that person is in your family?
• Are all of the siblings on the same page in terms of mom and dad`s wishes?
• Have your parents communicated with all of the children, grandchildren, or others who may be involved in their plan?
• Have you received your parents` input on their plan?
Communication with your children:
• It`s never too early to have conversations with your children, especially your adult children, about your wishes.
• While talking about money isn`t something that feels comfortable or comes naturally to most, it`s imperative that your children know what your plan is.
• Ask your children for input. You may be assuming that they want an inheritance, or college funds set up for their kids, but in reality, their wishes might revolve around you enjoying life to its fullest and caring for yourself. Or perhaps their desire is to know that you have a plan in place for long-term care costs.
• Explore your family`s biggest concerns, desires, and needs. Perhaps there is a charity you all want to support with proceeds from your estate, or a special needs family member you all want to provide for.