As parents age, there comes a time when their adult children may want to talk to them about estate planning. Often, this is to ensure that their parents’ wishes are carried out and it’s understandable that the adult children may need information about how to raise the topic.
First, if the adult child has siblings, he or she may want to include them in the conversation. This can help ensure that all of the family members are on the same page. They may want to begin the discussion by asking what, if any, estate planning documents already exist.
These may include a power of attorney for healthcare, a power of attorney for finances, a list of any property they own and where it is located, where their digital assets are, which financial institutions they use and account information, as well as where any investments are held.
Also, it may be useful to ask them who they would want to act as a personal representative for the estate. The personal representative has many important responsibilities such as accounting for the estate’s assets, paying debts, and notifying the beneficiaries of their share of the estate, among others. It’s important for them to choose a trustworthy personal representative.
Planning materials and guidance
Some families find it helpful to create an estate planning box. This can be a simple file box that contains folders with all of the relevant documents, a list of instructions and a copy of the finalized will or trust.
An experienced estate planning attorney can provide guidance and advice about which type of estate plan is the right fit.