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Communication is key between elderly parents and their adult children

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.

Families need to reach an understanding about elder care and estate planning

The main cause of this generation gap is simple. Parents and children don't talk about these issues as often as they should. According to Fidelity, half of parents have not had detailed conversations about long-term care, and nearly a quarter of parents have never broached the subject. In fact, almost one-third of adult children admitted they did not know where their parent's estate planning documents were.

While estate planning and elder care are not always comfortable subjects, a candid conversation can go a long way to establishing clear expectations for parents and children alike.

A skilled attorney can also make a dramatic difference. For years, people across Bergen County and beyond have placed their trust in Michael A. Manna & Associates. Our Ridgewood law firm is a strong resource for families from all walks of life.

Source: Here's What Your Aging Parents Say They Want You To Do For Them, Money, by Kerri Anne Renzulli, June 28, 2016

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