The loss of a parent is difficult enough, but it can be made worse when grief is compounded by worry and confusion over the prospect of dealing with their financial affairs. A recent study from the National Center for Health Statistics suggests:
• Over 30% of retired Americans need assistance in managing their finances and other legal affairs.
• Of that 30%, over half of them will make decisions or seek professional advice without their children present.
Every person’s situation is unique, and some parents make a conscious effort to involve their adult children in financial matters or at least make provisions before they pass away to ensure that the process of organizing their affairs won’t be burdensome. When parents try to get their children informed about their financial situation, it can lead to stronger family ties and help the children develop a better understanding of what they need to do to prepare for their own retirement.
With that in mind, this report provides a checklist that is designed to be used by:
• Parents nearing retirement as a guideline for helping their children better prepare to take over financial matters when the time comes.
• Adult children whose parents have recently passed away, leaving little or no guidance on how to handle their affairs.
There are several common issues to be addressed when any parent passes, and this checklist is designed to cover the broadest possible range, including:
• Important documents
• Funeral arrangements
• Life insurance
• Savings and investment accounts
• Credit debt
• Identity protection
• Social Security
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