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Talking to elderly parents about their long-term care planning

When most people think about estate planning and covering costs for long-term care, they probably think just about themselves. But, the reality is that many people will need to have these discussions with their parents as well, particularly when those parents are getting older. Unfortunately, some people may shy away from these discussions because they find the topics uncomfortable.

A recent article noted that discussions regarding estate planning and long-term care planning can be awkward, and the article provided a few suggestions. First and foremost, just as parents look out for their children when the kids are young and finding their way in the world, adult children can help look out for their elderly parents by making sure that they point out potential scams or tricks that might syphon away funds. Elderly parents need to make sure that they conserve their resources for when they need them most.

Next, the article recommended that when these topics come up, it is best to have several brief conversations, instead of one long, drawn out and detailed discussion. It is important for elderly parents to understand that estate planning and long-term care planning are serious topics, but adult children of those parents don't want to alienate them.

Lastly, it can be important to keep these discussions focused on particular goals. For instance, if an elderly parent doesn't have any estate plan at all, the first step would be to begin to craft the parameters of a plan. Step by step, adult children can help their elderly parents make the right plans for their future, including estate plans and long-term care planning.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Tips for Surviving 5 Really Awkward Money Conversations," Christy Bieber, Nov. 11, 2017

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