Disconnect between Parents and Adult Children


A new study reveals that there is a disconnect between what parents expect financially from their adult children and what those children expect to be asked to provide and do.

Whenever there is a disagreement about estate planning or finances between parents and their adult children the first place to look for the source of the problem is a lack of communication. It is not always the cause, but more often than not a lack of communication was involved on some level.

That makes the results of a new study disturbing as it shows that parents and their adult children have different expectations of the children’s roles in the parents’ elder years.

Money reported on the study in “Here’s What Your Aging Parents Say They Want You to Do for Them.”

Some of the different expectations are:

  • 90% of parents do not want their children to support them financially, but nearly a third of children expect to do so and are willing to.
  • Most parents expect their children to act as their executors, but many children have no idea they are expected to fulfill that role.
  • More parents expect that one of their adult children will be a caregiver for them than there are adult children who believe they will have to do so.
  • Similarly, more parents think their adult children will help them handle financial decisions than there are children who think they will be asked to do so.

All of the above are potential sources of conflict between parents and adult children.

Families should talk about their expectations in the above areas before those conflicts might arise. A qualified elder law attorney can help facilitate the conversation.

Reference: Money (June 28, 2016) “Here’s What Your Aging Parents Say They Want You to Do for Them.”

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