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How to talk to parents about estate planning

On Behalf of | May 22, 2023 | Blog, Estate Planning

People often find it hard to talk to their parents about estate planning. However, the topic is important for all Missouri families to talk about to avoid future problems. These are some ways to talk with your parents about estate planning.

Find a reason to talk about it

Bringing up the subject by itself may seem awkward. There are ways to ease into the topic to avoid making it more uncomfortable. For example, a person may discuss a recent event or someone the family knows. If there are examples of problems related to a lack of estate planning, those can be helpful to discuss. Most parents do not want to create more trouble for their children, and they may be more open to estate planning if they learn that it helps prevent problems.

Ask parents if they are working on estate planning

In some cases, parents may already be working on estate planning. If they have not yet started, it helps to have some suggestions available. Older parents may not know who to trust or how to find someone to help them. They may be more comfortable letting their children research options, read reviews and make suggestions to them.

Involve the whole family to determine roles

When parents are ready to talk, it helps to set up a time when the entire family can participate. This ensures that nobody feels excluded. Everyone will be present to hear what the parents want, and they can all share their own concerns or thoughts.

Parents may also specify who inherits the house, heirlooms or other belongings. Deciding this in advance can help prevent fights. During the meeting, discuss who will be in charge of various tasks. For instance, it helps to appoint someone to be in charge of finances if the parents become incapacitated. Also, the family should decide who will be in charge of medical decisions or other important matters.

When families work together, estate planning can be a smoother process. The good news is that once these issues are resolved, everyone can have greater peace of mind.