Even in the healthiest of parent-child relationships, there are times when uncomfortable discussions must take place. If your parent is approaching their senior years without an estate plan in place, it might be time to broach the subject of how they would like to allocate their assets.
The estate planning process can be a difficult and awkward topic to bring up with your parent. Consider involving other family members in the matter to discuss a few key points with your parent.
Ask about your parent’s will
Your first step when approaching your parent on the subject of estate planning is to ask if they already have a will in place. According to one survey, as many as one-third of Americans feel that they have too few assets to justify the effort of drafting a will. If your parent is among this demographic, try to help them see how even a simple will can be a huge step forward in making their wishes known.
Understand your parent’s needs and concerns
Throughout your estate planning talks, make sure to listen intensively to your parent’s concerns and avoid being forceful on the matter. You should also emphasize aspects of estate planning that will protect your parent’s health needs as they age, such as establishing an advanced care directive that outlines their medical wishes in the event of incapacitation.
Neither parent nor child wants to bring up the inevitable, but open communication about estate planning can grant peace of mind to the whole family.