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How to talk to your aging parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Estate Planning

As your parents age, you might find yourself concerned about their final arrangements, especially whether they have an effective estate plan. This is an understandable concern. After all, your parents have worked hard to generate their wealth, and you want to ensure that they’re able to leave it to their loved ones as they see fit. You might also worry about who will make health care and financial decisions in the event that they become incapacitated.

Tips for talking to your parents about estate planning

Under these circumstances, it’s a good idea to have an open an honest conversation with your parents about estate planning. But as you prepare to do so, you might want to do the following to make the process smoother:

  • Have the conversation while your parents are still healthy so that you don’t give them the impression that you think that their death is imminent.
  • Find an interesting news story or personal account that you can use to trigger the conversation.
  • Focus on what’s important to your parents and help them identify their priorities.
  • Take notes so that you can revisit important topics and give them an outline of what they’d want from an estate plan.
  • Be understanding that this can be a difficult conversation to have.
  • Inform your parents of the plethora of estate planning options out there, and that they have the ability to create the estate plan that’s right for them.
  • Inform other family members of your intent to have these conversations so that there’s no perception that you’re trying to unduly influence your parents.

Don’t wait until it’s too late

It’s easy to put off conversations about estate planning. But doing so puts your parents, their estate and their loved ones at risk of being subjected to a distribution scheme that’s unfavorable to many. Your parents could also be at risk of becoming incapacitated without clear instructions as to who will act on their behalf.

Don’t let this happen. Start the conversation now and be sure to reach out for the support that you need as you and your parents navigate the estate planning process.