If your parents are getting older, then you might have a lot of concerns about their well-being and the state of their affairs. This oftentimes includes the lack of an estate plan. After all, most people put off estate planning until it’s too late, which can leave their assets in the hands of those whom they never intended to inherit. Lack of a coherent estate plan can also lead to family disputes and increased costs.
Talking to your parents about estate planning
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your parents start thinking about estate planning. Consider these tips:
- Plan on an ongoing conversation: Estate planning is a big, difficult topic that involves thoughts about one’s own mortality. Be patient with your parents and expect to ease into the topic and revisit it from time-to-time.
- Inform family members: You don’t want to give the impression that your trying to coerce your parents to act in a certain way, so let your family know that you plan to bring up the topic. You might even get some additional support from them.
- Focus on what’s important: There are certain things that your parents value. Whether it’s caring my for grandchildren, keeping things equal, or supporting a charitable organization, talking about those values can make a conversation about estate planning much easier.
- Take notes: Really listen to your parents so that you can more easily revisit the topic later on. These notes can also help your parents discuss their estate planning goals with an attorney.
- Know where to start: Try to find an in into the conversation by talking about your parents’ confer for the future or issues pertaining to the estates of family or friends.
Help is available
Discussing estate planning can be hard enough for some people, but putting together the plan itself can be even more challenging, especially given the legal nuances involved. That’s why when the time comes it might be best for your parents to work with an attorney who will know how to put their vision for the future into a legally viable means.