NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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We Need to Talk

We Need to Talk 2/10/17Most people agree that planning for major events in our lives and sharing those plans with our loved ones is an important thing to do.  When finances are involved, it can be uncomfortable and awkward.  For that reason, people sometimes procrastinate on discussing the issues with family members.  Often they wait until a crisis occurs – when it may be too late.

Even though money can be a particularly sensitive subject, it’s often at the center of many decisions in later life, such as on housing, health and long-term care. So for older adults, talking with their children about future financial arrangements is critical, even if the children are reluctant to do so.

“Before you have to” is the time to talk with your family members and help them learn needed information so they can assist you through any challenging times as you age. Here are 10 questions to answer that can help you start the conversation:

1. Do you have a will? If so, where is it?

2. Do you have an advanced directive, such as a living will or health care durable power of attorney, and where is it?

3. Who has your power of attorney or is the executor of your estate, and how can he/she be contacted?

4. Have you selected a funeral home and planned or paid for a burial site?

5. What is the location of essential personal papers (birth and marriage certificates, dissolution of marriage documents, Social Security and military service records)?

6. Where do you keep life, health, property and long-term care insurance policies?

7. Where is your checkbook, and what bank do you use?

8. Do you have a safe deposit box? Where is it, and where is the key? Do you have a list of contents?

9. Have you made a list of investments (savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, etc.)? What are the names and contact information of the financial advisers/institutions that have the investments?

10. Have you made a list of the personal and real property you own? Where is it?

What else would you want your family to know in case of an emergency? Planning will not prevent all problems, but it will help avoid decision-making in times of crisis. Set a goal to review your financial arrangements and begin those family conversations. The NDSU Extension Services has resources on its Aging Well website at www.ag.ndsu.edu/aging to help you.

Adapted from “Top 10 Financial Issues Older Adults Should Consider,” by Jane Strommen, NDSU Extension gerontology specialist.

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/feedback-group-business-2044702/  (downloaded 2/14/17)



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