Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How to Talk About Finances with Parents and Children

ConversationA recent study shows that many families are not discussing estate, retirement, or financial planning decisions between the generations. The 2014 Intra-Family Generational Finance Study reveals that 40% of parents have not had detailed discussions with their children on their plans, preferring to wait until after retirement, but children are often worried that their parents won’t be cared for as they age. Here are three tips on having this important conversation with family members:

  1. Don’t forget the details, even if they are uncomfortable. Discussing how finances will be handled in retirement and end-of-life decisions can be difficult to discuss, but should not be overshadowed by more general and easier to talk about issues, such as investments and budgets.
  2. Adult children should keep the conversation a discussion and not a lecture. While adult children may feel the need to fall into the role of advisor, it is important that they respect their parents’ decisions and plans.
  3. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Families should plan for this type of talk to be an ongoing discussion spread out among multiple conversations.

See Kimberly Palmer, How to Talk Honestly About Money With Your Family, U.S.News, Aug. 20, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.


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