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How to discuss estate planning with your parents

| Mar 8, 2021 | Estate Planning

As our parents age, most people become more concerned about their well-being and their financial affairs. This is understandable, especially given the fact that a lot of individuals put off any sort of estate planning or other elder care planning until it’s too late. With that in mind, you might want to think about broaching the topic with your parents so that you can help them develop the holistic plan for their future that they need and deserve.

Talking to your parents estate planning

There’s a lot that your parents can and probably should be planning for. Not only should they have an estate plan that addresses asset distribution upon their passing, but they should also think about Medicaid planning, powers of attorney, wealth preservation tactics, and tax avoidance strategies. That’s a lot to consider, but there are things that you can do to start the conversation and perhaps nudge them into taking the formal steps necessary to solidify the plan that is right for them.

  • Timing: Don’t wait until it’s too late and your parents are sick. Have the conversation while they’re still healthy and it feels like planning.
  • Be empathetic: Talking about incapacitation and death is hard. Be understanding of your parents’ emotions and their hesitancy to discuss the mattes at hand.
  • Be transparent: You might want to discuss your plan with other family members so that there’s no perception of coercion or undue influence. Your loved ones may even have ideas to help spur the conversation.
  • Know how to start: This can be the trickiest part of the whole process. Think about families that forewent a plan and ended up facing problems or even a story that you heard on the news. Even discussing some statistics that you found can be a great segue into conversation.
  • Listen and take notes: As you speak with your parents, try to focus on what’s important to them. This means actively listening to their concerns and their desires for the future. By taking notes, you can develop a solid framework for the plan that your parents need.

Help your parents take a holistic approach

There’s a lot that your parents can do to preserve wealth, address tax issues, and ensure that assets are protected for their loved ones. Addressing these matters can be complex, though, which is why it’s often best to have a skilled legal professional lend a helping hand when formalizing any sort of estate plan. The legal team at our firm knows how to take a holistic approach to all of these matters and have helped clients achieve the protection and piece of mind they deserve time-and-again.