Talking with your parents about an estate plan

On Behalf of | Sep 16, 2021 | Blog, Elder Law & Estate Planning

You can play a key role in helping your parents prepare for a comfortable retirement. For them, having an estate plan may enable them to make goals for their future, as well as coordinate their end-of-life affairs to reduce stress and uncertainty in their later years.

Starting a discussion about an estate plan may seem a little unnatural, particularly if your parents have not yet started anything. Knowing how to express caring concern may enable you to present information in a way that encourages understanding and action.

Be genuine

The biggest mistake you could make when bringing up a sensitive issue is to show no regard for others’ feelings. An estate plan has a lot of moving pieces and parts and requires discussion of highly personal topics including incapacitation, distribution of assets and death. According to MSN, getting answers to basic questions may provide you with reassurance that the execution of your parents’ estate will happen smoothly and according to their wishes. The manner you go about finding the answers to these questions can make a considerable difference in your parents’ willingness to discuss their end-of-life wishes.

When starting a conversation, ask your parents what concerns they have about their personal needs later in life. Ask them if they have thought about what they want to happen with their assets. Showing a genuine concern for their wellbeing and the perseverance of their legacy can provide instrumental support as they approach the estate planning process.

Set goals

Because estate planning requires consistent planning and effort, your parents may feel overwhelmed at first. You may reduce their uncertainty with suggestions for realistic goals. For example, you can encourage them to begin thinking about beneficiaries. Once accomplished, you can suggest another task such as writing a will. Gradually compiling the components of an estate plan may feel less burdensome than doing the whole thing at once.

Your support in helping your parents establish a plan may ease their burdens. Witnessing their preparations can also give you the peace of mind that they have what they need for a smooth transition later in life.