As your parents approach retirement age, you may want to help them get their affairs in order regarding their estate plan. How should you frame the conversation with sensitivity?
MoneyCrashers offers advice to start a discussion. Understand how to help your parents help themselves.
Involve your siblings and relatives
If you have brothers or sisters, bring them into the conversation. That way, you all know your parents’ wishes and intentions. Another reason to involve siblings and close relatives is that you all have the chance to ask questions and clear up potential confusion or misunderstandings regarding your mother’s and father’s estate.
Because estate planning involves several documents and decisions, talking to your parents about their strategy may involve several conversations. Practice patience as you cover living wills, power of attorney and advance care plans. Think about when and how to have separate conversations so you and your parents feel comfortable.
Write things down
With each estate planning discussion, take notes with your smartphone regarding their desires. Sometimes, estate plans change, so what your mother or father wants now may not be the same as what they want in a few years. No matter your parents’ most-recent estate planning wishes, help them put everything in writing to make it valid in the eyes of Kentucky law.
You may not agree with or understand your mother’s and father’s desires, and that is OK. Put your focus on helping your parents figure out what they want and what puts them at ease. Also, let your loved ones know it is OK if they feel sadness or regret when talking through their estate plans.