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Elderly Parents More Comfortable Discussing Estate Planning Than Are Their Children
- September 26th, 2005
A new study of older parents and adult children finds that the parents are much more willing to discuss estate planning issues than their children are to discuss the parents' estates.
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., conducted a survey of older parents between the ages of 70 and 79 and adults between the ages of 45 and 65 with at least one living parent. They asked how comfortable respondents were talking about their estates or their parents' estates, how important it is that the parents provide for their heirs, and what type of estate planning documents the parents have.
The survey found that the older parents were much more willing to discuss these matters than their children. According to the survey, 76 percent of older parents were comfortable discussing their estates and 71 percent were comfortable discussing their wills compared to the 45 percent and 54 percent of adult children who were comfortable discussing these same matters with their parents. The survey also found that the children underestimated the importance the parents put on providing for them and their children, and that older parents were more likely to have estate planning documents like living wills and durable powers of attorney than the adult children believed.
According to The Hartford, the survey shows that parents and children need help talking about these issues. The Hartford encourages parents and children to discuss estate planning by focusing on the things they agree on and on shared values. The Hartford also notes that older parents should be the ones to start the conversation since they are more comfortable talking about the issues.