Depending on your age and your parent’s estate planning circumstances, there may come a point when you realize the need to have this very important conversation. It’s not easy to bring to light, but that doesn’t mean you should run and hide.
If you realize that now’s the time to discuss estate planning with your parents, you shouldn’t hesitate to dive right in. With the right approach and the proper amount of compassion, you should be able to step in and provide assistance where necessary.
You know your parents better than anyone else, so it’s critical that you take the right approach when discussing estate planning with them. However, if you need a push in the right direction, here are some tips that can help.
- Focus 100 percent of your efforts on them: You don’t want to give off the impression that you’re asking about estate planning because of the impact it will have on you. This can quickly bring an end to the conversation, while also resulting in some tension. If you focus on your parents – and nothing else – it’s easier to make progress.
- Prepare to ask questions: Before you dive into the conversation, have a list of questions that you want to ask your parents. Do you have an estate plan? Do you need to make any changes to your estate plan? Does a trust make sense? Have you discussed your estate planning arrangement with a qualified attorney? It’s these types of questions that will open up the conversation, thus allowing you to touch on meaningful details.
- Provide real help: It’s okay if you’re nothing more than a sounding board for your parents. Sometimes, this is all they need. However, if you really want to help, find out how you can take action. For instance, you can help them talk through who they should name as their power of attorney. Or maybe you set them up with a local attorney who can answer their questions, provide feedback, and help them better understand the estate planning process.
You never know what will come to light as you begin to discuss estate planning with your parents. The conversation may go exactly as planned. Of course, it could also take a turn at some point, thus throwing you for a curve.
If you or your parents have any questions or concerns about estate planning, contact us to schedule a consultation. An experienced attorney can step in to ensure that your parents feel good about their estate plan and the impact it’ll have in the future.