As your daily life goes on, take a moment to think about your parents as they grow older. Do you know if they have their affairs in order? How would you pay their mortgage or settle their assets if the unexpected were to occur?
It’s important to have these conversations with your parents, but you may feel nervous about breaching the subject. Here are some tips.
First, you should consider having an estate planning lawyer present when you sit down with your parents. Then, when questions come up that you cannot answer, the expert can contribute to the conversation.
Here are some ways you can break the ice:
- Introduce the Subject Casually: If you do not want to catch your parents off guard, bring up the topic over dinner or while watching a sports event. For example, tell them about a friend whose parents recently passed away, and they didn’t know where to start.
- Ask Questions Straight Out: Instead of tip-toeing around the topic, ask questions directly. For example, do you have a will? What would happen to your house if you passed away? Does someone have the right to make medical decisions on your behalf if you were both incapacitated?
- Show Them How Much You Care: Handle the conversation with care, leading with love. You would never want your parents to feel like you were asking for money or putting pressure on them. Instead, discuss how they should have control over what happens to their assets after death and how to make those plans.
- Discuss Possible Problems: Bring up situations that could occur if they die without a will or trust. Discuss probate or beneficiaries that your parents may not prefer. If they were to become sick where they couldn’t pay their bills, who would have access to their financial accounts?
- Set Up a Meeting with an Estate Planning Team: Once you’ve discussed what needs to happen for your aging parents to get their affairs in order, schedule an appointment with an estate planning firm you can trust. Then you can ensure they don’t miss anything as they prepare their estate plan.
It’s time to talk to your parents about estate planning before the unexpected happens. You should be in communication about their financial documents and if they have prepared a will or trust. Shoup Legal is here to help you with this process. Contact us at (951) 455-4114 or email [email protected] to start planning today for peace of mind tomorrow.