You have probably already taught your adult children in Florida about the birds and the bees, but there is another important “talk” you need to have with your kids as you both age. That conversation has to do with your will and other estate planning documents. Experts have taken to calling this the “other talk,” which outlines your wishes for the end of your life rather than explaining how life begins. As both parents and adult children begin to age, a variety of factors need to be considered and explained while both are still lucid.

Financial planners and attorneys say there are four critical topics that should be discussed with adult children when approaching estate planning. First, the family needs to examine financial plans for an uncertain future; that is, what happens if an elderly parent falls physically ill or begins to suffer from cognitive impairments? Financial matters relate to the other three topics, which include receiving the medical care required to sustain life, along with choosing appropriate living arrangements and ultimately controlling your environment at the end of your life.

Early communication about your estate plan can help ease any potential family conflict, as your kids will interpret your actions as forethought and prudence rather than a strategic move to leave relatives out of asset distribution. Choose one child to lead the family in asset management after your death, and educate that person about your wishes and needs. Then, consider taking the following steps.

A financial power of attorney allows your designated child to use your money to pay bills and obtain medical costs. This is useful in case of cognitive incapacitation, and it is one of the most important documents in an estate plan. Be sure to simplify your financial picture and consolidate accounts so your heirs can easily interpret your asset picture. Be sure that your kids also have access to your online accounts by leaving logins, user names and other electronic information in a safe location.

Prior planning is the key to a successful will execution. By taking time to make these arrangements now, you can ease the burden on your children and other heirs.

Luis E. Barreto