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Adult children, parents often disagree on family financial planning

People across the country will soon meet with their families for Thanksgiving. Many people will discuss their latest accomplishments and share with their families what they are thankful for. During their conversations, many will avoid talking about issues pertaining to family financial matters and long-term care for aging parents. These issues can make a family uncomfortable and understandably so.

It can be difficult to talk about financial planning, especially when it involved caring for aging parents. However, there discussions are extremely important for children and parents to have. Thanksgiving could be a prime time to discuss these issues when the family is all together. According to surveys, many parents and children disagree on whether a child will care for a sick parent. Children also underestimate how much inheritance they might receive and underestimate the value of their parent's estates by $100,000.

While no child should rely on an inheritance for long-term planning, it is important to help parents make decisions and understand what to expect when the time comes. These topics might be difficult to discuss, so starting off a general conversation about the economy in general could help lead into personal financial discussions.

Although people should be discussing these financial issues among families many don't feel comfortable. People often say they would feel more comfortable discussing finances with a financial planner than with their own family. Having these discussions can help a family set up a proper estate plan that can work to ensure parents' wishes are followed.

Source: Associated Press, "Let'sTalk: Survey finds older parents, adult children can't agree on basic financial planning," Mark Jewell, Nov. 14, 2012

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