If you’re parents are getting older, then you might be worried about their health and overall wellbeing, as well as what will happen to their estate once they pass away. These are normal concerns. The scary reality, though, is that many people forego estate planning altogether because they think their estate is simple enough or they want a straightforward distribution plan. However, this can be risky, as intestate succession laws may not match your parents’ wishes, and a lack of a power of attorney may put your parents’ financial and health decisions in jeopardy.
Tips for talking to your parents about estate planning
Thus, it’s probably a good idea to discuss estate planning with your parents. We know that this can be an uncomfortable endeavor, but we hope that these tips will help you along the way:
- Tell other family members about your intentions to speak to your parents about estate planning so that there are no misconceptions about your intent.
- Talk to your parents about estate planning while they’re still healthy so that you don’t give the wrong impression.
- Focus on the values that really matter to your parents.
- Take notes during your discussions so that you and your parents can refer back to them.
- Be understanding and empathetic, as it will probably be difficult for your parents to discuss their own mortality.
- Be prepared to have the conversation over multiple discussions instead of all at once.
Help your parents secure the estate plan that they need
Finding an in to one of these discussions can be difficult, but you think about raising your own concerns or referencing a news story or someone else’s personal account of estate planning trouble to get the conversation off the ground. Once you’re well into your talks with your parents, you may want to refer them to an attorney to ensure that they’re getting the estate plan that they need. If you’d like to learn more about what an attorney can do for your parents, then now may be the time to research your representation options.