If you have elderly parents and you’re unsure about whether they’ve drawn up an estate plan, then you may feel like you should talk with them. You might have heard from friends about the downsides of not having a plan in place.
If you and your siblings are concerned about what may happen if your parents don’t have a plan yet don’t want to seem inconsiderate in asking, then there are ways to go about it.
Tactfully addressing estate planning
One way to start the estate planning conversation with your parents is by doing so in an organic way. You may want to start by telling your parents an anecdote about a news story that you previously read, a television show or a situation involving a friend. You may want to highlight how an unnecessarily complex estate battle ensued because there was no plan in place. Touching on the topic may set the stage for you to discuss whether they have a plan themselves.
You should downplay money when having these conversations. You don’t want to appear greedy. You’ll want to instead connect estate planning with relationships. You’ll want to let your parents know that you simply want to minimize any chances of potential conflict or confusion after they’re gone.
Other reasons to convince your parents to have an estate plan
Many people get the impression that estate planning only involves drafting a will. There’s a lot more to estate planning. They can draft documents such as health care directives and financial powers of attorney, both of which may protect their interests if they become incapacitated and unable to handle those affairs themselves.
There are countless other estate planning documents that are valuable for your parents to draft for a variety of different reasons. Learning about them may motivate them to delve a bit deeper into estate planning.