Your parents recently announced their retirement, and you feel elated to celebrate this chapter of their lives. While helping to plan the retirement party, you think about what lies down the road ahead for your mother and father. How do you talk to them about their estate plan in a way that respects and honors them?
Money Crashers offers tips for talking to aging parents about their estate. Learn how to support your loved ones and ensure they take care of themselves.
Bring your siblings into the conversation
If you have brothers or sisters, do not leave them out of the conversation. They deserve to know your parents’ desires, and making them part of the discussion may help prevent misunderstands or hurt feelings. Further, you may need your siblings’ help to carry out your parents’ estate plan.
Take your time
Just as you may experience difficulty talking to your parents about their death, your mother and father may feel the same way. Let them know they do not have to have this conversation all at once. If they wish, they can break to discussion down into several conversations.
Whatever your parents share about their estate, write what they say. This helps to make remembering things easier, but recognize that what they want may change over the years. Ensure your parents make their desires legal with the proper documents and professional advice.
Hear what they say
You may disagree with how your parents want to handle their assets, or their end-of-life medical decisions may leave a sour taste in your mouth. Leave judgment out of the equation and keep your parents front and center.
Find the strength to have an emotionally intense conversation with your parents. Your future self may appreciate your bravery.