Initially, this may strike you as a strange suggestion. After all, in the usual course of events, our parents die before we do. We inherit from them, not the other way around.
Also complicating this is the fact that many of us have spouses and children that we would leave our estates for. So, why consider leaving money to our parents?
Many older people are financially set. They have a good income from Social Security, pensions and investments. They have planned carefully and will be able as they move forward to rely upon themselves for their financial well-being.
Other elderly people are not so fortunate. Times have changed, and they didn’t plan for the changes that would come. They may have thought that if they owned their home (mortgage paid off) and they had no debt, they could manage on Social Security alone. They may have only a few thousand in the bank for the rainy-day emergency.
As your parents age, will they be looking to you for assistance? If they cannot live alone, can they afford assisted care? Or would they anticipate moving in with you? What would they do if you were to pass away?
In large families, there may be other siblings to shoulder the responsibility. If there are fewer, or if you are an only child, there may be no one to assist them. This may be a reason to include them in your estate planning. If you can afford to do so, you may wish to leave them money if they are still alive at the time of your death. This could provide the cushion they would need to make it through.
This is not a planning idea that is for everyone or for every family. It is a consideration when you are doing your planning. Who would help Mom and Dad if you were not here?