When we were younger, our parents frequently sat us down to have a serious conversation about something. As much as most of us dreaded those conversations, in retrospect they may have been easier than some of the conversations we now need to have with our parents. One of the most important conversations you should have with them is about their estate plan.
Don’t be surprised if your parents are hesitant to sit down and discuss their estate plan with you. Talking about finances with your children is something most people are not inclined to do without a good reason. Moreover, talking about the possibility of your own death with your children is also something your parents may not wish to do; however, there are some things you can do to put them at ease.
Explain to your parents that your interest in their estate plan has nothing to do with your future inheritance and everything to do with their comfort and happiness in their golden years. Reassure your parents that while you may not need to know the details of their estate plan, you would like to know the generalities and overall scope of the plan. If you focus on the concern you have for your parents instead of the value of the estate or what you will receive when they die, you may be able to help your parents open up and discuss their plan.
If your parents have yet to create a plan, or you are concerned that the plan is insufficient or out of date, encourage your parents to make an appointment with their estate planning attorney as soon as possible.