It can be difficult to bring up estate planning topics with your parents. You may be very interested in finding out if they’ve made a plan – or concerned if you think they haven’t – but it feels self-serving to bring up estate planning, as if you’re just curious about what assets you’re going to receive.
Additionally, some people can feel fairly uncomfortable talking about estate planning. How can you bring this up in an organic and natural way so that you can have the conversation with your parents?
Find the right time
One thing that can help is identifying a good time to bring up the topic. Perhaps a parent was recently having medical troubles. You could simply point out that you’re wondering if they have an advanced directive or a medical power of attorney because the family needs to know what to do if there’s an emergency.
Another helpful tip is to include your siblings in this conversation. This can often make it seem far less self-serving, and it shows that you care about the well-being of the family as a whole. You’re not just looking out for what you are going to get in the estate plan. You want things to go smoothly for everyone.
Explain what you want to learn
Similarly, it can be beneficial just to explain why you’re asking these questions and what you’re trying to learn. Perhaps you’ve heard examples of other families getting involved in estate disputes that take years to resolve and leave a permanent divide between siblings. You just want to avoid that eventuality by talking about the estate plan first and ensuring that your parents actually have one in place – which is one of the key steps to preventing these disputes.
With proper planning in advance, it is possible to help things go smoothly. Those who are making estate plans just need to know about the tools they have at their disposal.