As our parents age, we oftentimes find ourselves worried about their wellbeing. This concern can stretch to nearly every aspect of their lives, but there’s one issue that shouldn’t be overlooked: estate planning. Far too many individuals put off estate planning until it’s too late, which can affect not only the way that their assets are distributed upon death, but also their ability to have competent financial and healthcare decisions made in the event of incapacitation. If you find yourself worrying about your parents and their future, then now may be the time to talk to them about estate planning. But how do you go about doing that?
Tips for talking to your parents about estate planning
There are some things that you can do to make the process easier and effective. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- Be prepared: You don’t want to just jump into this conversation. You want to know how to ease into it, perhaps by referring to others who know or have heard of who have had estate planning issues, and then broach the topic gently.
- Tell other family members: You don’t want to look like you’re pressuring your parents to act in any particular way, so it’s probably best that you inform other family members of your intentions.
- Be empathetic: There’s usually a reason why people put off estate planning, and it has to do with a hesitancy to confront their own mortality. This is normal, but scary for most people. Be understanding.
- Don’t wait too long: Try your best to have an estate planning conversation while you’re parents are healthy so that it doesn’t look like you’re expecting them to pass away at any moment.
- Focus on what matters: There are things that are really important to your parents. Try to focus on their values and how estate planning can help them further those interests.
- Take notes: Your parents might have a lot or a little to say, or it might be difficult for them to articulate what they want. Regardless, take notes so that you can share those with an estate planning attorney who can help your parents bring their vision into reality.
Don’t shy away from the topic of estate planning
Most people who create an estate plan feel an enormous sense of relief because they know that their assets, their loved ones, and even their own wellbeing is protected as they see fit. Knowing this, you shouldn’t hesitate to discuss these matters with your parents or any loved one who could benefit from such a discussion. If you need help at any point along the way, feel free to reach out to an estate planning attorney of your choosing.