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Inside This Issue

Former Planned Giving Officer Continues Mission with Gift Annuity
Talking Finances with Parents
What If You Died Without a Will?
Homework Before Meeting with an Attorney

Mission Statement

The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

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Talking Finances with Parents

Increasingly, sons and daughters in their 40s, 50s and 60s are finding themselves assuming responsibility for their parents. It's a good idea before that happens for parents and adult children to have a talk about the parents' financial and estate planning arrangements.


Children eventually may be asked to assume responsibility for the parents, or at least to manage the parents' money. Knowing where a parent banks, what life insurance policies are in effect and whether retirement assets are available may make the child's future responsibilities easier.

What subjects should be covered when parents have "the talk" with their adult children?

  • Is there a will? The child doesn't necessarily need to know what's in the will, just where it can be found when needed. The same is true of revocable living trusts. Have funeral or burial arrangements been made? If not, what are the parent's preferences on these subjects.
  • Are there life insurance policies? It may be helpful for the child to know the cash value of the policies in the event funds are needed for the parent's care. It's especially important for the child to know whether additional premiums are due, to avoid having a policy lapse.
  • Where does the parent bank? If the child is asked to assume management responsibilities at some point, it's important for the child to be able to find all those assets, as well as the location of any safe deposit boxes and the keys.
  • Has the parent provided for health care directives? Children should know about the existence of living wills or health care powers of attorney (sometimes called "proxies").

If you would like more detailed information on any of the topics discussed, visit our website,

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The articles in the issues of the Legacy newsletters are for general illustration purposes only. Information, Gift annuity and tax rates were current as of the time of publication. There can be no guarantee that such information will continue to be accurate in the future. Interested Donors should check with the Gift Planning Office for current rates and deduction amounts before completing their gifts. Calculations of tax deductions will vary based on applicable federal discount rates, which change on a monthly basis. The American National Red Cross is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice or assistance in specific cases, the services of an attorney or other professional advisor should be obtained. Certain links in this site connect to other Web sites maintained by third parties over whom the American National Red Cross has no control. American National Red Cross makes no representations as to the accuracy or any other aspect of information contained in other Web sites.