Naperville Estate Planning Lawyer Addresses the Disconnect Between Aging Parents and Adult Children

estate planning, Naperville estate planning lawyerIn today’s world, communication is easier than ever before. Virtually everyone carries a cell phone, uses email or instant messaging systems, or reaches out to friends and loved ones through the technology of video chat. With all of talking, however, it seems that many families continue to avoid the tough conversations, especially those regarding finances and estate planning. A recent study suggests that this is especially true for aging parents and their adult children, who are, quite often, not on the same page as one another.

In my practice as an estate planning lawyer, I recognize the importance of communication between generations. I am always pleased to help families discuss their future plans, ensuring that nobody is left in the dark about what to expect down the road.

Startling Study Results

Fidelity Investments recently released the results of the third edition of its annual Family & Finance report. The survey examined attitudes of parents and adult children regarding a variety of financial topics, including retirement budgeting, elder care, and estate planning. The survey included responses from more than 1,200 individuals who were at least 55 years old and one of their children age 25 or older. The findings indicated that, in a large number of families, there is still much discussion to be had to avoid unpleasant surprises.

According to the survey’s findings, nearly 70 percent of aging parents said that they have talked with their children in detail about their estate planning considerations, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Half of those children, however, say that the discussion has never happened, meaning two-thirds of all adult children surveyed have not sat down with their parents to discuss these crucial subjects. Approximately 30 percent of the participating families could not even say for sure that the adult children knew where their parents kept important documents such wills and advance medical directives.

The Time to Talk Is Now

Perhaps the most alarming indication presented by the study was the attitude that seems to be prevalent among today’s families. The majority of respondents, including both parents and children, do not believe financial discussions need to take place until the parents have reached retirement age or when health or money begins to become a problem. Experts warn that waiting too long can have unforeseen, long-term effects on a family’s assets, some that can last for generations.

At the Gierach Law Firm, we know that it is not easy to discuss certain topics, especially those that address end-of-life matters and related decisions. Our experienced Naperville estate planning attorneys are equipped to make the conversation easier with compassion and skilled legal guidance. To learn more or to being the estate planning process, call 630-756-1160 today.