GUEST COLUMN: Having the talk with your parents

Grown children should speak to their aging parents about their finances

Maybe you’ve already had the talk with your kids. Well, now’s the time to have the talk with your parents.

The anxious moments and uncomfortable feelings may be the same but the topic is decidedly different.

You need to talk to your parents about their health and financial issues now before a crisis occurs that can reduce their estate planning options and increase costs.

While their health allows it, your parents should be involved in making decisions regarding their living arrangements, level of care, and estate planning.

Your role is to be a supporter and information gatherer.

Here are some tips for getting the talk going:

Offer an opening – your parents may be waiting for an opportunity to have this discussion; you can provide it.

Use ice-breaking strategies like offering help with their estate and retirement planning.

Keep in mind that your parents want and need to maintain both their independence and dignity.

Listen – try to understand their fears and anxieties.

Here’s what you should include in the discussion:

Sources of income – including any changes in monthly income should one of them die.

Investments – as well as beneficiaries for their registered investments.

Expenses – will their income (including government aid) cover their expenses as they are likely to escalate with age?

Insurance – what coverage do they have; are there holes that need to be filled?

Existing wills – have they designated personal representative (executor/liquidator) to wind up their affairs and distribute their assets according to their wills?

Enduring powers of attorney for property – be sure they have appointed someone to make financial decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated.

Powers of attorney for personal care, living wills, health care directives – be sure they have appointed someone to make personal and health care decisions on their behalf should they become incapacitated

Location – know where their wills and other legal papers are kept; know the location and content of their bank accounts and safety deposit boxes.

Having the talk with your parents can be difficult but the benefits of knowing their wishes can be extraordinary.

There are many financial and estate planning strategies available to your parents.

A professional advisor can provide a valuable outside perspective and help sort out the details and ease the awkwardness of the talk.

Andy Erickson is with Investors Group in Vernon.

This column presents general information only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell any investments.

 

Just Posted

Power out in large part of Vernon

Power went down around 4:30 p.m. in the middle of the city

Vernon pageant participant heads stateside

Samantha Sewell will represent North America at Miss Royalty International in Milwaukee

Vernon summer mural tours start with new guides

The mural tours started on June 28 and will run until Sept. 27

PHOTOS: Armstrong MetalFest rocks Hassen

Big crowds gather for popular two-day annual heavy metal music festival

UPDATED: Lane closed after fatal collision on Highway 97 east of Falkland

A man in his 60s is dead after a single vehicle crash on July 15

VIDEO: Okanagan Valley weekday weather update

Environment Canada says it’s going to be a rainy week

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

UPDATE: special council meeting set for Wednesday, Basran in talks with province

Opponents of McCurdy house says she won’t ‘relinquish possession’ of more than 14,000 names

Private viewing for Elijah-lain Beauregard to be held in Penticton

Afterwards, there will be a celebration of life next to the Okanagan Lake,

Most Read