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How can I talk to my parents about their estate plan?

| Apr 23, 2020 | Firm News |

Discussing estate issues with your aging parents is rarely easy. Some adult children put off the conversation because they do not want to appear greedy. Others are reluctant to bring up the issue out of fear of being morbid. 

However, seniors must have a solid estate plan in place. Not only do estate plans protect the assets your parents worked so hard to accrue over their lives, they also ensure that important medical and financial decisions are left in capable hands. Here are a few tips on discussing estate planning with your parents. 

Help them find professional assistance 

If your knowledge of estate planning is limited, you can still assist your parents. It is best for the creation of estate plans, including wills and trusts, to be overseen by a professional, such as an attorney or financial advisor. Look for a person with experience in estate planning and a good reputation online (check review sites for more info). Once you have found a few possible candidates, sit your parents down to discuss their credentials in more detail. 

Involve other members of your family 

Family issues often make talking about estate planning with your parents challenging. There may be a perception that you are offering up the discussion for selfish reasons, which can cause strife among siblings and other relatives. Show that your intentions are pure by involving other members of the family in the discussion. The more transparency, the less stress your parents will experience when making decisions about inheritances. 

Highlight incapacity planning 

Incapacity planning includes making decisions about powers of attorney, both financial and medical. A financial power of attorney imbues another person power over your parents’ financial decisions, while a medical power of attorney makes medical decisions when a person is unable to. Choosing the right person for these positions is crucial. Be a sounding board for your parents; listen to their selections and offer input, but remember that the decision is ultimately up to them. 

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