What Your Adult Children Really Need to Know About Your Money
By Dan Kadlec
August 8, 2018
Before my dad went in for routine surgery 11 years ago, as a precaution he told us he had everything we needed to know written down on a piece of paper in the top drawer of his home desk. Yeah, yeah, my two siblings and I nodded. See you in the morning.
Weeks later, after complications had left him in a coma and he passed away without another word at age 79, we were thankful for his prudence. Dad had left a note with all of his financial account numbers, piles of meticulously organized sales receipts and warranty documents, an inventory of his safe deposit box, and specific instructions for things like who he wanted to have his gold watch, money clip, coin collection, and diamond ring.
It was a great relief, while we were grieving, not to have to worry about hunting down critical info like where he banked and invested or second guessing his wishes about who among us got the possessions that meant the most to him.
So, have my wife and I put together a similar record for our three young adult kids, just in case? Well…
Death is not fun to contemplate, especially if you are in your 50s or 60s, feeling good, and looking forward to a decade or two of scaling back work and enjoying life more.
Thinking about the physical and financial challenges of older age is no walk in the park either. Some 80 million adults in the U.S. are classified as conversation avoiders when it comes to end-of-life issues, according to research out of Marist College.
More than half of adult children say conversations with their parents about family money make them uncomfortable, the Home Instead Senior Care Network found. That same research shows that 70% of family money conversations occur only after a health crisis or other emergency.