Mic’s recent article, “You can’t afford to procrastinate on this one key money move,” says you might think you’ve got years to sort things out, but you never know how much or how little time you have before health or other issues arise. This can include parents without the funds to pay for nursing home care, not locating assets when a parent becomes incapacitated and family battles over a parent’s estate.
Many of these issues stem from failing to have an important conversation. Follow these tips to have “the talk”, while your parents are still healthy and can help make a financial plan for the future.
It’s uncomfortable to talk to your folks about money, and you may feel it’s none of your business. However, your parents’ finances can have a major impact on your future. You can expand the conversation, if your parents bring up money, like if your mom asks your opinion on buying a new car or an issue with a credit card. Use this opening to talk about their bigger financial picture. You can also begin with your own situation, such as speaking to an attorney about estate planning. Ask if your parents have a plan in place. You can also bring up new stories about how seniors are being targeted for scams, in order to broach the subject of how your parents are managing their money.
If your parents say they don’t want to talk about their finances with you, suggest that they visit a professional who can offer advice, such as an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney. He or she can address questions about nursing home care costs and can help parents make a legacy plan. Nursing home care is a critical issue to discuss, because 70% of people who reach age 65 will need long-term care for at least three years at a cost of thousands of dollars every month. While most folks know that Medicaid is a primary payer of long-term care services, it typically doesn’t cover these services.
There are also times when a parent who received Medicaid dies, and the child will find that their father had Medicaid. It’s not uncommon for Medicaid to put claim on a parent’s estate. The estate is subject to Medicaid recovery, much to the surprise of their children.
When you have the money conversation with your parents, emphasize how talking about financial issues can benefit them. Hopefully, you can help them make plans for their financial stability and their future legacy or convince them to get help from an estate planning or elder law attorney.
Reference: Mic (July 5, 2017) “You can’t afford to procrastinate on this one key money move”