How should you talk to your parents about their estate plan?
January 15, 2021
You do not want to think about being without your parents, but you understand the inevitability of the matter. So, you want to ensure they have a solid estate plan in place to give all of you peace of mind. How do you raise this topic with them?
Money Crashers offers tips for having a respectful conversation. Learn how to help your parents and yourself at the same time.
Bring in your siblings and relatives
If you have siblings or close relatives, include them in the conversation. Bringing in close family members may dispel concerns of coercion or secrecy. It also gives everyone a chance to hear your parents’ desires, which may help avoid misinterpretation and confusion.
You may have a hard time asking your parents about their estate, and they may have an equally hard time talking about the matter. Practice patience with your mother and father, as the topic may bring up a lot of unexpected emotions and thoughts for all of you. Consider having several estate planning conversations rather than one to relieve the emotional burden.
Write it down
Take notes on your phone or a notepad while talking with your mother and father. Doing so helps you keep all the details in order, and your parents may later change their minds about some aspects of their estate plan. Even if you take notes during the conversation, your parents should put their end-of-life wishes on official legal documents. Michigan courts cannot use your notes as proof of your loved ones’ estate plan desires.
Push through the discomfort you may feel about your parents’ death. Doing so works out for everyone’s benefit.