Livens & Reed, PLLC

Important financial talks to have about estate planning

Family dynamics have changed with adult children reversing roles with their parents and having sit-down talks about finances. In a recent survey, parents in Texas over age 60 admit they have never discussed estate planning with family members. Adult children worry that conversations about money, wills and designating personal representatives could cause conflict or even sour relationships with their parents.

Studies show that 90 percent of family members wait until something tragic happens before talking about finances and important legal issues. Experts recommend approaching the conversation by encouraging parents to discuss their end-of-life goals, including topics about declining health and funeral arrangements. Parties should be prepared to shut down conversations, however, if talks become strained or stressful for them.

Experts agree that it is important to talk to seniors about finances and to educate them about various scams and elder abuse that cost senior Americans 36 billion annually. Concerned family members can tackle topics about costly financial scams that target seniors and bilk them out of their life savings. Having conversations now with mom and dad can ensure that, with a plan in place, there will be no surprises in the event of a crippling disability or death.

Conversations about mortality are never pleasant but are necessary to help adult children prepare and protect their parents during their senior years. About 20 percent of elders have been victims of scams, and seniors need to be informed of potential threats and risks associated with financial abuse. Residents of Texas with concerns about their aging parent's future may consult with an estate planning attorney. Making final estate plans now will help seniors and family members avoid difficult situations down the road.

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