Even when everyone is on the same page, a family is in touchy territory when adult children must begin to manage their elderly parents' finances … But the shift can be less stressful if everyone takes it slow, seeks advice and remembers that helping to maintain a loved one's well-being is the primary goal.
Families are dynamic, never static. We start out as children, but may live long enough to parent to our parents. It is a fact of life, especially when it comes to finances.
The key to an effective transition, while preserving the dignity of all involved, is communication.
A recent article in CNBC recently offered advice to adult children and their elderly parents. The article titled “When Adult Children Become Financial Caregivers” suggested six steps.
While you can read the original article for the detail, the steps are as follows:
- Knowing the Right Time to Talk
- Framing a Sensitive Subject
- Building Trust
- Sibling Responsibilities
- Maximizing Efficiency
- Maximizing Inherited IRA
The basic principle to bear in mind is that both the elderly parents and the adult children have to assume and understand their roles. This is key for a family transition to move gracefully. This means communication, not only between parents and adult children, but likewise between adult children working together on behalf of the family as a whole.
Naturally, this is all easier said than done. In truth, there are any number of principles and rules for this transition, but the six from the original article certainly are a helpful start.
Reference: CNBC (June 3, 2013) “When Adult Children Become Financial Caregivers”