How can I talk to my parents about estate planning?
A lot of people put off estate planning, but they do so to the detriment of their loved ones. If you’re afraid that your parents aren’t taking estate planning as seriously as they should, then you might wondering what you can do to help spur them into action. It’s an important point. After all, your parents’ estate may fall into the hands of someone they never intended to inherit if they don’t take estate planning actions in the near future.
How to talk to your parents about estate planning
Breaching the topic of estate planning can be difficult with anybody, but you might find it especially difficult to do with your parents. Yet, there are some things you can do to spark a conversation that ends up being productive and in furtherance of your parents’ best interests. Here are some tips:
- Don’t move too quickly: You shouldn’t expect to wrap up a conversation about estate planning in one discussion. Instead, inspect to ease into it and revisit the topic from time to time until your parents are comfortable with the idea.
- Be empathetic: Estate planning requires us to think about our own mortality, which isn’t easy. It might be even more difficult for your parents since they’re older. Be understanding and don’t try to minimize the issue.
- Tell other family members: The last thing you want is to give the impression that you’re trying to coerce your parents to act in a certain way. To avoid that, you should be as transparent as possible with your family members. By doing so, you might even find some additional support.
- Focus on what matters: Estate planning gives your parents the opportunity to focus on what is important to them. Is it providing for their children equally? Is it contributing to a charitable cause? Is it to ensure the successful functioning of a business? An estate plan can be tailored to reflect these priorities.
- Take notes: Jotting down what your parents say allows you to revisit certain topics so that you can help your parents recognize what’s important to them. It can also be a great starting point for a legally valid estate plan.
Don’t confront the legalities on your own
If you or your parents need more information about formal estate planning, then you should think about contacting an experienced estate planning attorney. You really shouldn’t try to create estate planning documents on your own. While you might be able to find resources online, the truth of the matter is that utilizing them could put your or your parents’ estate at risk. Put your mind at ease by working with a competent attorney instead.