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‘We need to talk’: Conversation starters and tips

Key to a successful joint or third party account arrangement is an open and trusting relationship between you and your fellow account holders or you and your third party. It is important that you have a frank and open conversation about your reasons for opening the account, and your intentions for what the money in the account should be used for. It is also advisable that you have a conversation with a representative from your bank or building society and your solicitor in order to seek their advice as to what is the best arrangement for you.

You may find it difficult to start a conversation about managing your personal finances. Perhaps you’ve tried before and it went badly, or maybe you’re afraid to have the discussion for fear of causing offense or conflict. These conversation tips are intended to help you to think about how to start that conversation and to empower you to get your intentions across.

Top Tips:

Be prepared. Plan the conversation beforehand, and if you find it helpful, write down a few opening statements which you can bring with you to the conversation. Ask yourself some key questions:

  • What is your purpose for having this conversation?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • What would be an ideal outcome?

Never make a decision on the spot. This is your money and you have the right to take your time in considering what is best for you. State clearly that you will not make a decision straight away, that you will consider your options and discuss them with your family/friend/financial advisor/solicitor. It is also strongly recommended that you bring a pen and paper with you into the conversation so that you can take notes about what is discussed and what is agreed.

 

University College Dublin (UCD)National Centre for the Protection of Older People (NCPOP)Health Services Executive (HSE)Older People's Empowerment Network (OPEN)
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