Here’s how to talk to your parents about estate planning

| Dec 9, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Far too often, estate planning is put off until it’s too late. Many adult children find this thought troubling as their parents get older. Despite their concerns, though, these individuals struggle to find a way to broach the topic with their parents. After all, it’s not easy to bring up the topic of someone’s death. But there are certain things that you can do to make the conversation a little bit easier and, hopefully, help your parents bring their vision of the future into reality.

Talking to your parents about estate planning

Don’t be scared to talk to your parents about estate planning. Instead, be prepared. You’ll find that by following some of the tips below you can have an engaging conversation full of understanding and progress.

  • Tell your other family members: Before you talk to your parents, let your other family members know your intentions. Doing this can help avoid future disputes and allegations of wrongdoing. You might also receive some help that you never expected.
  • Be empathetic and patient: Talking about death isn’t easy. If it were, then more people would engage in estate planning. So, be understanding of how hard this topic is and don’t expect the entire conversation to be wrapped up in one talk.
  • Focus on values: There are probably a few things that are extremely important to your parents. By focusing on these items or philosophies, then you can help your parents move toward a plan that supports their underlying values.
  • Take notes: There’s probably going to be a lot to talk about, so it might be helpful to take notes for your parents so that you can summarize and revisit important points. This can serve as a framework for their estate plan.
  • Know how to start: Of course, before you get to the talk of estate planning, you’ll need to know how to begin the conversation. You might want to consider couching your talk in terms of others who have faced estate planning issues or problems related to assets and liabilities after death.

Know that legal help is available

Estate planning is stressful for a lot of people, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s because experienced estate planning attorneys can help you and your parents develop a plan that is right for the circumstances at hand.