As your parents age, it’s completely normal to think about their estate plan. After all, their plan could have serious ramifications for you, your siblings, your children, and even beloved charities. But if you’re like most people, then you’re probably finding it difficult to broach the topic with your parents.
Sadly, the topic of estate planning as become somewhat taboo within families. Some people are just uncomfortable thinking about their own mortality or the mortality of their loved ones, which can cause problems. You might be left in the dark as to whether your parents even have an estate plan and, if they do, then you might not even be aware of all of the terms of their estate planning documents. This can prevent you from ensuring that your parents have the holistic estate plan they need to adequately meet their wishes for the future. It can also increase the risk of costly estate litigation when disputes over family assets arise.
So how do you go about discussing estate planning and family wealth with your parents?
First, be sincere in your approach. Let your parents know that you’re concerned about the future of their estate and that you want them to have control over what happens to their assets. This can help alleviate tensions and a sense that you are merely asking about what you are going to inherit.
Second, show your parents the benefits of the conversation. If your parents have grandchildren, try to explain to them that a lacking estate plan can have a profound impact on his or her future. Don’t guilt your parents, though. One way to show them the benefits of the conversation is to utilize an example where poor estate planning negatively impacted the family as a whole.
Third, let your parents know that you care about them. Estate planning is about much more than just figuring out who will inherit certain assets. It’s also about developing a long-term care plan and ensuring that legal mechanisms are in place to ensure that their financial and medical well-being is protected in the event that they become incapacitate. This might help your parents see the value in engaging in holistic estate planning.
We understand that discussing family money, incapacity and death can be extremely difficult. But if you take the right approach, you can alleviate tension and provide peace of mind to both your parents and your other family members.
If you want help in having these conversations, or you want to direct your parents to a caring, knowledgeable law firm that is well-adept at navigating the estate planning process, then you should consider researching which firm would be best suited to fit your needs.