Conversations about planning for a senior’s later years seem difficult because often they are delayed until a medical crisis forces the family’s hand. Here are two suggestions on how to make this conversation a productive one for all parties involved.
Schedule a Time to Hold the Conversation
Let them know ahead of time that you want to discuss something important. The first conversation should take place at your parents’ home, or another place where they feel comfortable. Make an “agenda” on the issues you want to discuss during this meeting to stay on track if things get emotional.
Avoid Making Your Parents Defensive
If your parents are more hesitant, start with the least emotional topics to establish comfort. Always open the conversation with “I” statements, instead of “you” statements. Saying something like, “You can’t manage your finances anymore,” would only get your parents’ hackles up. –instead, say “I want us to be prepared in case there’s an emergency so that I can be helpful.” If you make sure your conversation is coming from a helpful place, the discussion will be a positive one.
If your parents are willing, consulting with an Estate Planning Attorney is something I always recommend. If you are located in the Daytona Beach area, call my office for a free consultation.