One of the biggest obstacles to effective estate planning is confronting one’s own mortality. It certainly isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you hope to properly take care of your estate and your loved ones. But if your parents are getting older, you might be worried about their unwillingness to address estate planning.
Don’t panic. Instead, consider these tips that might help you spur the conversation and ensure that your parents are protecting themselves and their estate.
- Don’t wait until your parents’ health is in decline, as that can give the wrong impression.
- Tell other family members of your intentions so that you avoid the perception that you’re trying to coerce your parents into creating an estate plan that is favorable to you.
- Find a way to ease into the conversation, such as by referring to a recent new story pertaining to estate planning or the experience of someone you know who faced estate planning issues.
- Focus on what really matters to your parents. Your parent probably have pretty strong values. By focusing on those, you can help guide your parents towards an estate plan that supports what’s important to them.
- Truly listen and take notes so that your parents can refer back to them later on and use them in their discussions with an estate planning attorney.
- Be understanding that this is a difficult topic for your parents to address, and it may take time to discuss everything that needs to be addressed.
Help your parents seek the assistance that they need
Talking with your parents about estate planning is a great step toward securing the future of their estate and their loved ones, as well as ensuring that they have the documentation in place to protect their healthcare and financial decision-making in the event that they become incapacitated. But in order to finalize all of this, your parents are going to need to take the steps necessary to create a formal estate plan. That’s why you may want to help your parents discuss their estate planning needs with a competent legal professional.