If your parents are aging then you might be concerned about their plans for the future of their care and their estate. It’s not an easy topic to bring up with your parents, though. You don’t want to give off an air of impropriety and you certainly don’t want to make them uncomfortable.
Yet, talking about death is a necessity in life, especially if you want to ensure that your loved ones are adequately cared for when the time comes. Therefore, if you’re thinking about talking to your parents about estate planning, then you might want to consider these tips to help you have a caring, meaningful, and productive conversation.
- Inform family members: To avoid portraying an image that you’re persuading your parents to act in a certain way, then you might want to tell other family members that you intend on having a conversation with your parents about estate planning.
- Know how to start: Merely broaching the topic of estate planning can be tough. Think of people who have faced estate planning issues and start there. Or just bring up your concerns or the things that are important to your parents but might be at stake without sound estate planning.
- Be sympathetic: Talking about death is hard, and you don’t want your parents to think that you’re simply waiting for them to pass away. So listen to them and be as understanding as possible.
- Focus on what matters: Your parents have priorities. Draw their attention to those issues that are important to them so that they can see how estate planning can assist them in protecting and furthering their interests.
- Take notes: Your parents may not be able to clearly articulate what they want, but by truly listening to them and taking notes you can help steer the conversation and revisit important points. Doing this can also help an attorney further down the road who may help them draft the estate planning documents that your parents need.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Far too often people put off estate planning until it’s too late. Don’t let that happen to your parents. Instead, carefully plan how you’re going to talk to them about estate planning so that they and their estate can be as protected as possible moving forward.