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Talking to your parents about estate planning

Estate planning conversations with your parents (s) can be daunting, but they are necessary.  You can help them with their plan. Of course, this doesn’t mean making major decisions, such as who to include in the will or who gets what, but ensuring they have everything they need.

Here is how you can talk with your parents about estate planning:

Include your siblings

You may have thought of talking to your parents about estate planning before your siblings. However, doing so without their presence may lead to conflicts. You should inform your siblings of your idea, plan a date and time and then inform your parents of the meeting.

Do not delay

Time is of the essence in estate planning. You should have the conversation as soon as possible. Some people suggest children should wait until a life-changing event happens to have the estate planning conversation with their parents, but nothing is certain. 

Ask about their progress

Your parents may already have an estate plan. Thus, instead of assuming they don’t, you should ask. If they have one, ask if they are working with professionals and if they need help finding them. If they haven’t started developing a plan, you can get professionals to help them.

Let your parents know they should make decisions

When talking to your parents, clarify that you are checking if they have a plan and can help them get the needed professionals. At no point should they feel like you and your siblings want to help them make decisions. Use statements that empower them to make decisions, but inform them you are willing to help, when need be, throughout the process.

You may need to help your parents get professional guidance to avoid costly mistakes in their estate planning.