Have you lost sleep lately because you’re worried about your parents’ estate plan or lack thereof? If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people are anxious about what will happen to their parents and their parents’ estate when the time comes. These aren’t selfish concerns, either. Most people simply want their parents to have the protection they need and deserve for themselves and their estate. The sad reality, though, is that a lot of people put off estate planning until it’s too late simply because death is difficult to think about.
Helping Your Parents Consider Estate Planning
There are things you can do, though, to help spur your parents to engage in the estate planning that they need which, in turn, might help put your mind at ease. Consider the following factors that might help your conversation be as productive as possible:
- Talk about what is important to your parents: There are certain things your parents value above all else. It might be ensuring that all of their children are treated equally, that a charitable cause is furthered, or that loved one’s are pushed to achieve certain life goals. By focusing on these values, you can help steer the estate planning conversation in a direction that helps support those values.
- Don’t rush it: Talking about death and estate planning is challenging. Be understanding of that and be patient with your parents. At the same time, try to be empathetic. You’ll find that your parents will be much more receptive to the conversation if you do these things.
- Let others know what you’re doing: You don’t want to look like you’re pressuring your parents to act in a certain way, so be sure to tell your other family members what your intentions are by initiating an estate planning conversation.
- Take notes: This can help you remind your parents of what is important to them and what they want for the future, but it can also help an attorney determine the best course of action when your parents decide to take formal steps to finalize their estate plan.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help your parents start thinking about estate planning. Another thing you can do is refer them to an estate planning attorney who knows how to discuss these issues in a compassionate and understandable way. Hopefully then your parents can obtain the protection they need and deserve and your mind can be put at ease knowing that they and their estate is taken care of appropriately.