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How to bring up estate planning with your parents

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2020 | estate administration & probate |

You know that your parents have not done their estate planning. You also know that they’re going to need it sooner rather than later. What you’re not sure how to do is to bring it up. It feels like it could be a somewhat awkward and difficult conversation, and you don’t want them to get the wrong idea and think that you’re just looking for your inheritance as soon as possible.

So, how do you start that conversation? You want to help them get started on this important process, but how do you bring it up?

Perhaps the best thing you can do is to pick an outside example that doesn’t involve them directly. Maybe you have a friend whose parents passed away without a will and it led to disputes between your friend and their siblings. Telling your parents how hard that was for your friend’s family can help emphasize that you just want to avoid that same outcome.

You may even have examples from within your family. Maybe your grandparents did not have an estate plan. You watched your mother or father struggle to figure everything out, from asset division to funeral arrangements. You can tell them that you’d like to avoid that confusion for yourself.

You can also just do your own estate planning. That gives you a natural in to mention the planning you did and ask if they would like you to help them. Plus, since you’re doing it at a younger age, that makes it feel like the conversation is not implying that your parents are near the end of their lives.

No matter how you bring it up, be sure you and your parents talk about the necessary legal steps to get the plan in place.