When it comes to talking about financial matters with their parents most people don’t know where to begin. Death is an even harder subject to broach with your parents. It comes as no surprise then that bringing up the subject of estate planning with your parents is something most people are not sure how to do. As your parents age though, it becomes more and more important that you find a way to have the conversation. Consider some of the following tips that may help you begin the conversation and get through it without too much trouble.
- Be prepared. Do your homework and make sure that you know what you are talking about. Understanding the issues that may affect your parents will help them feel more comfortable talking about their plans.
- Phrase your desire to have the conversation in terms of your concern for their financial well-being in their golden years, not your concern for your inheritance.
- Mention the recent recession and how it may have decreased the value of assets owned by your parents. That, in turn, may call for a revision of their estate plan.
- Ask them about long-term care planning. Explain that you want to be sure they will be well taken care of if they need nursing home or assisted living care.
- Bring a living will or similar document with you to the discussion and leave it with them to review if they do not currently have one in place. Explain why executing one can help ensure that their wishes are honored and that the person they trust to make decisions for them will actually be able to make them if the time ever comes.
With a little pre-planning, you should be able to have a productive conversation with your parents about their estate plan which should put your mind at ease as well as theirs.
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