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  • 2-Minute Article
  • |
  • May 11, 2018

Sharing Financial Information with Adult Children: a Parent Checklist

Use this list as a guide in conversations with loved ones.

Created in Collaboration with Kiplinger.

While it may feel uncomfortable, sharing information about personal finances and estate matters with grown children can bring many benefits. It makes it easier for an adult son or daughter to step in and help manage a parent’s daily finances, when necessary, and helps ensure that children can take their parents’ wishes into account when it comes to managing and distributing assets. Communicating important financial information can also clarify the plans in place to help avoid the probate process, which can incur costs and delay transfer of assets.

Here is a checklist of important details to share during your conversation(s).

Key Financial Data

  Numbers for bank or credit union accounts
  Contact information for a financial advisor, tax preparer, attorney, and insurance agent
  Copies of insurance policies
  Information about pensions, investment accounts, and annuities
  Copy of most recent income tax return
  Social Security number(s)


Vital Legal Documents

  A healthcare directive, which spells out your medical treatment preferences, and a healthcare agent, who makes medical decisions for you if you can’t
  A power of attorney for finance
  Copies of trusts or wills (along with instructions on where to find the originals)
  Deeds to real estate, including cemetery plots
  Copy of most recent income tax return
  Vehicle titles
  Birth and marriage certificates


Ongoing Money Management

  List of household expenses and recurring bills
  Information about outstanding debts
  Safe deposit box information and key
  Passwords for devices and digital accounts



Another important person to speak to is your financial professional. He or she can refer you to an attorney, who can help plan and complete the estate documents outlined in this checklist.

Kiplinger has an in-house content studio, which reports on investing, retirement planning and wise money management for its partner organizations, providing trustworthy advice and guidance for their readers.
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