Estate Planning for Gen Xers and Aging Parents: For Financial Peace of Mind

Gold Leaf Estate Planning, LLC

POSTED ON: May 1, 2024
Estate Planning for Gen Xers
Many Generation Xers are in a unique position, “sandwiched” between raising their children and caring for aging parents. A proactive estate plan can help alleviate financial burdens and smooth aging parents' path into retirement for both generations.

Raising children is expensive. Adding medical or living costs for aging parents is enough to strain even a healthy family budget. The additional expenses of caring for an aging parent or parents can take a turn if a parent passes away or is incapacitated without a will or estate plan to guide the family. An estate plan or other legal documents, such as an advance medical directive and powers of attorney, enable trusted representatives to decide and act according to a parent’s wishes. A proactive estate plan can help alleviate financial burdens and smooth aging parents’ path into retirement for both generations. Here are six essential steps to help Gen Xers plan:

Based on Kiplinger’s article, “What Gen X Needs to Know About Their Aging Parents’ Finances,” this article outlines steps in estate planning for your parents’ financial future through retirement and their quality of life as they age.

Proactive Estate Planning for Generation Xers: Caring for Aging Parents and Protecting Their Future

An Inventory of Assets and Debts

Understand your parents’ financial landscape. Identify their assets, including retirement accounts, investments, real estate and bank accounts. List their debts, from home mortgages to credit card balances—a comprehensive view of their financial health aids in planning their future needs. Consider guidance from an estate planning attorney for a more customized approach.

How Much is Their Income and Where Is It From?

Familiarize yourself with your parents’ income sources, such as Social Security, pensions and additional retirement income streams. Know their financial inflows, gauge their ability to cover expenses and plan for any shortfalls effectively.

Do They Have an Estate Plan?

Ask your parents if they have an estate plan, including wills, trusts and other legal documents outlining their wishes for beneficiaries and asset distribution. If they do, is it comprehensive enough for long-term care, medical decisions if they are incapacitated and Medicaid? Address these topics early and facilitate additional planning, so their wishes are honored.

What Do Future Healthcare Costs Look Like?

Anticipate future healthcare expenses and discuss potential long-term care needs with your parents. Do they have health issues and medication costs to save money for? Develop strategies to cover these costs through insurance, savings, or income-producing investments. Planning can mitigate financial stress and provide access to quality care in retirement. Consult an attorney to discuss Medicaid planning and avoid delays in the application process.

Protect a Parent’s Wealth from Financial Fraud or Misuse

Family members worry more about scammers and the misuse of an older adult’s money today than in previous generations. Protect your parents from financial exploitation. Consider living trusts or powers of attorney, authorizing trusted family members to act and decide in your parents’ best interests, if necessary.

Find an Estate Planning Attorney

Seek guidance from a financial adviser and an estate planning attorney for retirement planning and intergenerational wealth transfer strategies. Collaborate with them to develop comprehensive strategies that address your parents’ financial needs, while safeguarding your retirement savings.

Key Generation X and Aging Parents Estate Planning Takeaways:

  • Generation X: Generation Xers are in a unique position, sandwiched between raising their children and caring for aging parents.
  • Estate planning: Take proactive steps to help alleviate financial burdens.
  • Steps to Take: Know the financial health, estate plans and wishes of aging parents. Discuss financial risks, long-term care and working with an attorney.
  • Be Proactive: Protect your wealth and legacy with an estate plan that reduces financial stress and provides peace of mind.


Proactive Gen Xers can plan today to raise their children and care for aging parents with estate planning strategies that alleviate financial burdens and provide peace of mind for both generations. They can support aging parents as they plan for the family’s financial needs and future.

Reference: Kiplinger (June 5, 2023) “What Gen X Needs to Know About Their Aging Parents’ Finances.”