On Monday, we gave you an introduction on how to talk your parents about their financial affairs. As we mentioned, money can be a rather difficult subject to bring up.
Even so, having the conversation sooner, rather than later, is essential in order to make sure your parents are well taken care-of (and that you aren’t stuck in any unfortunate situations).
Today, we’re going to talk about some of things you should ask for in order to have the best outcome possible for you and your loved ones finances.
Beyond the will
A will is a common place to start for most parents when it comes to putting their financial assets in order. But as Amy Goyer, a caregiving expert at AARP points out, you need to know much more than whether a will exists. Having as much information as possible is the key to having the best possible outcome for you and your parents.
This includes the following:
- Knowing where the will and any other important financial documents are kept
- Whether they have a living will, and/or advanced health care directives in order to ensure their wishes are met
- A durable power of attorney to ensure their financial affairs can be handled in case of an emergency.
What we’ve outlined above only scratches at the surface. Below, we’ve highlighted some more (adapted from About.com):
- Social Security Numbers and Medicare numbers
- Insurance: This includes details of all insurance policies, such as health, life, and long-term care
- Health records
- Debts and payments such as mortgages or any other loans
- Income: retirement plans, social security, annuities, dividends, tax returns, etc.
- Savings and investments, including bank account numbers and names of financial institutions
- Location of safe deposit boxes and keys to the boxes
- Names and phone numbers of legal advisors, doctors, attorneys, insurance agents, accountants, etc.
This may seem like a lot of information to look for–and while we don’t expect you to get everything in one go, we do believe that the more information you can get, the better the situation will be for you and your loved one.
Remember, thoug hit’s always important to tread lightly. Asking for all of this information can be quite overwhelming not only for your aging parent, but for you as well. Starting the conversation sooner rather than later can help to reduce the stress of asking, but it is always important to keep your parents point of view in mind. You are, after all, looking out for their best interest.
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