If you have aging loved ones, you know how pressing it feels to make sure their affairs are in order if they were to pass away. Unfortunately, your parents or grandparents may not feel the same urgency that you feel.
Maybe they are not educated on how important it is to create an estate plan. Or perhaps they think you’ll take care of everything after they pass. Either way, it’s vital to have critical conversations with your aging loved ones about estate planning.
5 Tips to Starting a Conversation About Estate Planning
Broaching the topic of estate planning will show your loved ones how much you care for them and their well-being. You want to be sure that their hard-earned money goes exactly where they want it to go after they die.
Gather for a family meeting to discuss the essentials of estate planning:
- Start with Simple Questions: Warm up to the conversation by asking standard questions. For example, do you have a will? When did you last update your will? Who is qualified to make medical decisions on your behalf? Does anyone have access to your bank account to act in your name if necessary?
- Make It a Recurring Conversation: Estate planning is not just a one-and-done conversation. Even if your family member has an estate plan, it should be revisited and updated periodically. Choose Memorial Day or the 4th of July to make a note of discussing their estate plan.
- Lead with Empathy: Let your loved one know you care by following up on other equally important topics like their health and social life. Then teach them about potential financial scams. When they see how much you care about their overall wellness, they will be open to questions and reminders you have about estate planning.
- Offer Research and Information: Discuss with your parents what could happen if they die without a will and their estate enters probate. Show them how estate planning is just as essential as making funeral plans or naming beneficiaries for a life insurance policy.
- Meet with an Estate Planning Lawyer: If you hit a wall when discussing the topic, contact a professional to discuss the importance of having an estate plan. Sometimes an expert outside of the family is better received.
If you find it challenging to broach the subject with your aging loved ones, Shoup Legal is here to help you through every step of the estate planning process. Give us a call (951) 455-4114 or email us at [email protected].