“Mom and Dad, You’re Broke” – Gary Altman Walks the Wall Street Journal Through Tough, But Critical Questions to Ask Mom and Dad During a Down Economy


In an interview for the Wall Street Journal’s “Family Finances” section, estate planning expert, Gary Altman, Esq., sheds light on some tough, but important questions we should ask our aging parents – particularly during an economic downturn when asset values are plummeting. He says, “We’ve all planned for greater money in the future. No one has planned for less money.”

Gary’s list of questions to ask aging parents:

  • Have you named someone to make medical decisions for you (and to obtain medical information)?
  • Have you named someone to make financial decisions for you?
  • Do you have a list of your assets, passwords, login, other important information; if so, where is it?
  • Where do you want to be buried? Who do you want to invite to your funeral? What type of funeral do you want?
  • Do you hide cash or jewelry in your house? Can you tell me where it is hidden?
  • Do you want any of your grandchildren to get anything when you die?
  • Have you clearly determined who is going to receive your personal effects?
  • And the most difficult: When was the last time you have revised your Will/estate planning and should you revisit it at this time?
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