When children are growing up, their parents play a critical role in their development. When parents are growing old, adult children are likely to play a crucial role in caring for their parents. This reversal of roles can be challenging, and will only be successful when both parties understand their roles and have similar expectations. According to Fidelity Investment's Family & Finance report, parents and children don't always see eye-to-eye in these matters. This survey asked parents and children questions about financial support, estate planning, retirement income, elder care and other issues. It found that 40% of families are not in agreement about these important issues.
These misunderstandings were striking in many cases.
- Roughly three in four parents assume that one child would care for the parents. However, 40% of the children who parents believed to take on the primary caregiver role were unaware of this fact.
- More than one out of four (27%) of adult children do not know if they will be the executor of their parent's estate.