Most adults with aging parents rarely look forward to raising the subject of their elders' money. It's a scary topic because it involves a role reversal. Parents are supposed to teach their young children about money, not the other way around. Years later, adult children and their parents sometimes find it challenging to break out of this family dynamic. Yet, there comes a time when children need to talk to aging parents about plans for their money and other end-of-life planning topics.
PLAN OR WAIT FOR A CRISIS
Ideally, the time to talk to parents should happen before any crisis. Injury or illness can happen fast. If plans are not in place, decisions may be made quickly without sufficient information. This risk of causing irreversible mistakes is high. Even if plans have been made, failure to share them with adult children may put an effective plan at risk. Talking when parents can physically and mentally hold their own in the conversation provides a better foundation for good planning. In other words, the sooner, the better.