Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

How to start an estate planning conversation with your parents

The time has come. You realize that you need to discuss estate planning with your elderly parents. No one wants to have this conversation, but you realize that it's the responsible thing to do.

But there's a problem. You don't have the first clue as to how to approach the subject without upsetting your parents. Here are some tips you can follow to break the ice:

  • Talk about your intentions: Your biggest fear is giving your parents the impression that you're worried more about yourself than them. Make your intentions clear from the start, as this shows your parents that you're truly trying to do right by them.
  • Suggest some times and places: Don't put the pressure on your parents by asking them to choose a time and place to discuss estate planning with you. Throw out a few ideas, keeping in mind that a positive and private environment makes the most sense.
  • Include others: For example, if you're concerned about what your siblings will think, ask them to join you for the conversation. Not only does this ease your mind, but it also helps your parents get on board with the idea of discussing their estate plan.

Once everyone is on the same page, you'll find it easier to openly discuss estate planning. This arrangement could come in handy in the future, as your parents may have questions and concerns.

A clear understanding of their current estate plan and future goals will help you provide the necessary assistance in a timely manner and with their legal rights in mind.

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