It’s never easy talking to your parents about sensitive subjects like estate planning, but it’s something you should do. By having a conversation with your parents about their wishes for the future, you can help ensure that things concerning their estate go smoothly when they’re gone. Here’s how to go about this conversation.
Make sure other siblings are present
When having a conversation about your parents’ estate, it’s important to have all your siblings present. This way, there can’t be any confusion about what was said or agreed upon later on. Furthermore, it shows that you’re all in this together and working towards a common goal. If possible, try to set up a meeting with your parents and siblings ahead of time so that everyone is on the same page. If you don’t have any siblings, or if they’re unable to be present for the conversation, reach out to other family members or close friends who can be there for support.
Talk about your parents’ wishes for the future
The conversation can include things like what should happen to your parents’ belongings and how they want their finances to get handled. Ask them questions about their estate planning wishes and try to get as much information as possible.
It’s also important to talk about any medical directives they may have. This includes things like whether or not they want to be kept on life support, what kind of medical treatment they do or don’t want to receive, and who should make decisions on their behalf if they’re unable to do so themselves.
If they already have an estate plan, talk about updating it
This is especially important if there have been any major changes in their life, like the death of a spouse or a change in their financial situation. Talk about all the areas of their estate plan and see if anything needs to get updated. This can help avoid any potential problems down the road.
If your parents are resistant to talking about these things, gently remind them that it’s important to have a plan in place in case something happens to them. Ultimately, however, they need to be the ones who make the decisions.