Checklist: What to discuss with aging parents about finances


Very few people like to think about the end, but there’s an uncontested 100% chance that we’re all going to die someday. A little preplanning can go a long way in alleviating the burdens both financial and emotional on your loved ones.

If you’re dealing with an aging or sick parent, having ‘the talk’ is never easy. But it is necessary. So when you’re ready to broach the topic, here are some pointers courtesy of Montana State University Extension.

Family finance discussion points

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

– Have you granted someone a durable power of attorney?  If so, who has the power, and where is the document located?
– Have you written a power of attorney for health care? If so, who has the power, and where is the document located?

–  Do you have a safe deposit box? Where is the box located and where is the key? Where is the list of contents?

– What is the location of essential personal papers — birth and marriage certificates, dissolution of marriage documents, Social Security and military service records?
– Where are life, health and property insurance policies kept?

–  Have you made a list of investments (savings accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds, etc.)? What are the mailing addresses of the institutions that have the investments?

– Have you made a list of the personal and real property that you own? Where is the list located?

– Who are your financial advisors? What are their names and addresses?

– Have you developed a letter of last instruction? If so, where is it located?
– If you have a retirement program, is there a death benefit for survivors? If so, whom should the survivors contact?
– Do you have a living will?


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