Thinking about death is hard. Even if you don’t have an issue with doing so, your loved ones might, including your parents. Far too often this fear leads people to procrastination when it comes to estate planning. This could be a huge mistake, leaving loved ones without the financial support intended and passing prized assets onto those who may mismanage them.
This is why you might want to think about talking to your parents about estate planning. Before you do so, though, here are some tips:
- Bring up the topic while they’re healthy, if you can, that way it doesn’t look like you’re expecting them to pass away soon
- Let other family members know that you’re going to broach the subject with your parents to avoid any perception of impropriety.
- Expect the conversation to take some time and span many discussions
- Take a holistic approach, discussing the major estate planning documents, like wills and trusts, as well items like powers of attorney
- Empathize with your parents since this is a difficult topic to discuss
- Really listen to your parents and take notes about what they say so that you can revisit it with them
- Identify the things that are most important to your parents so that you can help them come up with a plan that puts those interests first
- Ultimately, leave the ball in your parents’ court and don’t pressure them to act in any particular way
Hopefully these tips will help you have a productive conversation with your parents. If you and your parents are unsure of the estate planning options that are available, or how they can prove beneficial to your family, then you always have the option to reach out to an experienced estate planning attorney. One of these legal professionals can provide your parents with the customized approach they need and deserve to better ensure that their assets are protected and their vision of the future becomes reality.