To begin conversations about estate planning with your aging parents can feel daunting and overwhelming. After all, you want your parents to know that you come from a place of love rather than greed.
Conversations about estate plans should remain open and respectful.
Show genuine concern
Estate planning is a sensitive topic. When approaching the subject with your parents, ensure they understand you are genuinely concerned for their well-being. You want to foster an atmosphere of trust where your parents know that you will respect their wishes and where all of your concerns can come out.
Emphasize the importance of an estate plan
Approximately 67% of all Americans do not have an estate plan. If this includes your parents, they may not understand the importance of having a clear estate plan. Try to emphasize the importance of the estate plan and how it can avoid family conflicts and ensure a smooth transition of assets. Estate plans are a proactive way for your parents to control their assets.
Direct the conversation to your parents
Make your parents the center of the conversation and try to understand your parent’s wishes regarding their assets. Most people want to know that their loved ones will carry out their wishes, so ask them to articulate their preferences regarding the distribution of assets and healthcare decisions.
Try to remain open enough to discuss any potential fears your parents may have about the process. If you learn to understand their apprehension, you may be able to help them overcome it.