Talk With Your Parents About Estate Planning

Discussing retirementand elder care planning with aging parents can be difficult for all partiesinvolved.  For many parents and adultchildren, these conversations can be awkward and potentially emotional.  A recent study by Fidelity Investmentsdocuments the extent to which the two generations are failing to communicate onthis topic, as conveyed by Forbes inan article titled “Generations Apart: Talking Retirement AndEstate Planning Over Turkey.”

According tothe study, 89% of families agree that health and elder care discussion are important.  But only 10% of adult children believe theconversations they have had with their parents have been “very detailed.”  Similarly, only 19% of children say the sameabout estate planning conversations, and only 11% of adult children feel theyhave discussed retirement readiness with their parents in detail.

There areseveral implications of inadequate discussions. For example, nearly 25% of adult children believe they will have to helptheir parents in retirement while nearly all of the parents in the study saidthey will not need financial help from their children.  Similarly, some adult children underestimatethe value of their parents’ estates by more than $100,000.  On the other hand, however, some adultchildren may not save enough because they expect a large inheritance from theirparents. For more on this matter, you can consult the article “Parents and Adult Children Not in Sync asMany Families Still Struggle with Financial Conversations” on

To help facilitate these discussions, Fidelity alsooffers conversation starters on their website.  No matter how the conversation is started it is critical that it happen. At Idaho Estate Planning, we understandthe challenges faced by elder Americans. We have the experience and expertiseto help you maintain your options and protect yourself as well as your lovedones now and into the future. Remember, good planning is no accident.

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