Estate planning is a tough conversation to have with your parents. It can be hard to gather information about their estate, and it might make them uncomfortable thinking about their death. However, if you don’t have this conversation when it’s most relevant, you could end up struggling to try to collect the information needed after they pass away or become incapacitated.
Here are 5 tips to consider to make talking to your parents about estate planning effective and inclusive:
Tip #1: Don’t Delay
As with any important decision, there is no time like the present. Estate planning is easier when time is on your side. Should you wait until your parents are no longer healthy, not only does planning become more complex but the legal tools at your disposal decrease or are eliminated altogether.
Tip #2: Do Your Homework
Estate planning can seem like a complicated and intimidating process, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn what different estate planning documents do, and what your parents may need based on their unique situation. Our firm offers free workshops and other resources to better enroll you and your loved ones in the process of learning about estate planning. Take advantage of these valuable resources, and share them with your parents!
Tip #3: Get Organized
Estate planning involves more than just executing a will (though this is essential). To ensure that your parents’ plan is as comprehensive as possible, you should discuss all of the documents needed to transfer assets, make healthcare and financial decisions in case of an emergency, and finalize what happens on their behalf. It is not your job to provide advice on what should go into these different documents but it is important to ensure each is talked about.
Tip #4: Involve the Whole Family
If you want to keep the conversation about your parent’s estate planning positive and drama-free, it’s important to involve the whole family. Let your siblings know of your intentions to talk to your folks and loop in any other concerned parties. Make it clear that your goal is to lessen the burden of addressing such decisions and to ensure the matter is well-handled in the interest of everyone’s peace of mind
Tip #5: Be Kind and Show Empathy
When discussing end-of-life issues with aging parents, remember that the most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open. Listen to what they say and try to empathize with them. Remember, even if they are aging or their health is declining, it is their life and their assets and what is important is that they get to have as much control as possible in making these important decisions.
It can be difficult talking to your parents about estate planning. At Morrison Law Group, PLC, our goal is to provide you with a compassionate and comfortable experience during the process. We have been practicing law in Louisiana for over 17 years and have helped hundreds of individuals through the estate planning process. Contact us today at (504) 831-2348 to discuss your or your parent’s estate plan.