It can be hard to talk about estate planning with your parents.
The relationship between parents and children is special.
You were utterly dependent on your parents in your early life.
At some point, your parents will depend on you.
According to a recent Yahoo! Finance article titled “How To Talk to Your Parents About Their Estate (Without Making It Awkward),” this fact makes having “the talk” about estate planning undeniably important.
Discussing finances and the future with your parents can be awkward.
It will help to make no assumptions.
Your parents may have been successful in their careers and living comfortably in retirement, but this does not mean you will receive an inheritance.
This conversation with your parents should include more than the dollar amounts in their bank accounts.
Having a talk about estate planning should prepare you to understand and carry out their wishes while they are living and after they die.
Ask whether they have a last will and testament or trust for distributing assets.
Inquire about incapacity planning.
Do they have advance health care directives for medical decisions or general durable powers of attorney for financial matters?
If you do not know where to begin, you can reference a blog or article you have read regarding a pertinent estate planning issue.
Underscore the fact you do not want them to die, but recognize you may have responsibilities to ensure their wishes are followed.
Another route is to begin the talk about estate planning by referencing your own estate plan.
You can explain how you have made preparations to protect your children and other family members and outline your wishes.
Holidays can be a good time to talk about estate planning.
Multiple family members often gather together on these occasions, allowing for everyone to be on the same page.
Knowing the location of the documents and the expectations for each member of the family is essential.
In addition to logistics, you can discuss the memories and the values your parents instilled in you and your own children.
Having a talk about estate planning can certainly be awkward, but doing so can minimize stress and tension in the future.
Reference: Yahoo! Finance (March 25, 2021) “How To Talk to Your Parents About Their Estate (Without Making It Awkward)”