What to do if your parents don’t have an estate plan

As your parents age, you'll have a lot of worries running through your mind. For example, it's common to have concerns about their estate plan.

If you come to find that your parents don't have an estate plan, it's important to discuss your concerns with them. When doing so, make it clear that you have their best interest in mind, not yours.

Here are some things you can discuss to clear the air:

  • The benefits of an estate plan: Your parents may not understand the benefits of an estate plan, but instead assume that everything will fall into place upon their death. By bringing these benefits to light, it may be enough to persuade them to take action.
  • Long-term care planning: Explain to them that there's more to estate planning than deciding what happens to their assets. For example, a comprehensive estate plan also touches on long-term care and incapacity planning.
  • The simplicity of creating an estate plan: It's a misconception that it's complicated to create an estate plan. Let them know how easy it can be to create a will and/or trust, among other key documents. With the right help, it's a quick and painless process for most.

As frustrating as it may be to find that your parents don't have an estate plan, they still have time to take action. Once you explain the benefits of an estate plan and the steps they can take, it's out of your hands. You can only hope that they take the necessary action to protect themselves and their assets, now and in the future.

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