Talking to your parents about the distribution of their estate and inheritance is not easy. It is an acknowledgment of a reality that nobody on either side is ready to accept.
Talking about estate planning is necessary, however. Your parents will be able to enjoy peace of mind knowing that their affairs are in order. You and your siblings, as well as any other extended family members, can feel relief from squabbling with the court or with each other over assets.
1. Do you have a will?
The first step is to establish the extent of your parent’s estate plan thus far. If they have not done so, your parents should start by preparing a simple trust and will that outlines an intent for their assets in writing.
2. Would you like to make an advanced care directive?
Advanced directives help ensure that your parents will receive the medical care they need if an illness incapacitates them. In the event that an ill person can not speak for themselves, a designated individual can make decisions in accordance with the terms given in the document.
3. What are your concerns?
Transparent and honest communication is vital when discussing matters of a sensitive nature. It may be in the family’s best interests to urge your parents into forming an estate plan, but they may have valid concerns that are worth discussing. If necessary, involve an estate planning professional that can help provide guidance to your parents during this time of stress.
Estate planning should be a priority for anyone with a family, all the more so for aging individuals. Do not be afraid to talk to your parents about the fate of their estate today.