People are calling "family meetings" nowadays not only to deal with their parents' health issues but increasingly to sort out their finances as well.
No communication is bad communication. So regardless of how hard certain “talks” can be, there are some that you don’t want to ignore. And when you need to discuss caring for elderly parents, the conversation is crucial for their health and future.
For many families, communication has never been easy. For other families, it has never been an issue. What about your family?
Is it time for a family meeting, or a family huddle, or one serious conversation – whatever you choose to call it – about your elderly parents, their finances and their estate planning? If yes, how do you go about having “the talk” successfully?
How to first assemble and then discuss productively is an age-old problem for families with elder parents. In the end, there is no real one-size-fits-all solution, as people are different and families are complex. Fortunately, there are some basic principles worth noting as reviewed in a recent article in The Wall Street Journal titled “When It's Time to Huddle.”
If you do not have time to read the original article, here are the bullet points to ponder:
- Be Inclusive,
- Don’t Delay,
- Hire a Professional Referee,
- Set an Agenda in Advance, and
- Tap Long-Distance Relatives.
Think your family does, in fact, communicate well? That may be so, but there are still all the reasons in the world to get this conversation right.
Reference: The Wall Street Journal (May 10, 2013) “When It's Time to Huddle”